LVPL-23E5CF: Socketed sickle

Rights Holder: National Museums Liverpool
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Rights Holder: National Museums Liverpool
CC License:

Rights Holder: National Museums Liverpool
CC License:

Rights Holder: National Museums Liverpool
CC License:

Rights Holder: National Museums Liverpool
CC License:

Rights Holder: National Museums Liverpool
CC License:

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Unique ID: LVPL-23E5CF

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

A copper alloy early Iron Age socketed heeled sickle of transition Ewart Park/Llyn Fawr c. 800 - 600BC.

The object is in three pieces and has been irregularly broken during antiquity. The sickle consists of an oval socket and a decorated curved blade which is almost complete with a downwards facing point. The socket measures 37.17mm in length and is 22.12mm in width at the opening. The rim of the socket is slightly thicker at the outer edge or back of the sickle measuring 5.06mm thick. The rim is of uneven thickness measuring 1.51mm at its thinnest part. The internal depth of the socket is 50.03mm. On each face of the socket, 4.25mm above the socket mouth, is a circular rivet hole. One rivet hole, measuring 6.10mm in diameter is broken at the base, with the crack running down to the socket mouth, and is half in-filled with corrosion. The rivet hole on the opposite face measures 5.81mm in diameter and is complete. It is fully in-filled with corrosion. 24.25mm above the socket mouth is a decorative circumferential moulded ridge. 20.33mm above this the sickle expands to form the heal of the blade which curves outwards before arching up and around to form the length of the blade.

On one face of the object the heal, in line with the socket, is decorated with a squirly circlet decoration. Three worn ridges expand from this circlet along the length of the blade, becoming more worn and flattened towards the incomplete point of the sickle. The upper and lower edges of the blade along with the point have been damaged probably due to abrasion within the plough soil and corrosion. A large wedge of the object is missing between the central part of the blade and the internal edge of the socket.

The opposite face of the object has an oval depression which may have been a corresponding decorative circlet, now worn and damaged. Traces of three ridges can be seen in places on this face along the length of the blade however the decoration is much more worn. It can be assumed that the decoration mirrored that of the other side.

The socketed fragment of the sickle measures 78.18mm in length, 48.10mm in width and is 21.95mm thick. It weighs 58.0g.

The central fragment of the blade measures 61.68mm in length, 24.48mm in width and is 8.86mm thick at its centre. The cutting edge measures 2.52mm thick at the upper cutting edge and 2.55 mm thick at the lower or inner cutting edge. It weighs 16.7g.

The terminal/pointed fragment measures 39.90mm in length and 20.96. The blade is 3.43mm thick with the cutting edge measuring 1.73mm at the outer or upper edge and 1.38mm at the lower or inner cutting edge. It measures 9.4g.

Combined the sickle weighs 84.0g.

The object has a mid-brown patina with patches of light green corrosion in places and adhering traces of iron corrosion. There are no visible casting seems. The iron corrosion indicates that it has come from somewhere waterlogged / iron panned at one point.


For similar examples see Savory Wales volume p 194 fig 291.6-8 for Scottish and Irish examples see p200 Evans.

A very close parallel is a decorated sickle in Norwich Castle Museum, (1959.38), perhaps created in the same mould.

Fox, C. 1939a. 'The Socketed Bronze sickles of the British Isles'. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society (New Series) 5, 222-248.

Cheetham, F.W. (ed) 1977. Bronze Age Metalwork in Norwich Castle Museum. Norwich.

Another example currently in National Museums Ireland is 'W6' from county Westmeath and catalogued by William Wilde, see It is also illistrated on p.14 of P.W Joyce, A Reading book in Irish History which can be found here

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: National importance

Class: Socketed
Sub class: Heeled

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: IRON AGE
Subperiod from: Early
Period from: IRON AGE
Subperiod to: Early
Period to: IRON AGE
Date from: Circa 800 BC
Date to: Circa 600 BC

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 138.09 mm
Height: 78.18 mm
Thickness: 21.95 mm
Weight: 84 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Tuesday 28th April 2015 - Tuesday 28th April 2015

Personal details

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Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Cast
Decoration style: Curvilinear
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: North West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)
District: Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Hulme Walfield

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: Generated from computer mapping software
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: Found while metal detecting
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: LVPL
Created: 7 years ago
Updated: 6 years ago

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