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HOARD

Unique ID: YORYM-D2333A

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

Object type and material: Late Bronze Age hoard

Date of discovery: 28th March (excavated 29th of March)

Circumstance of discovery:

This is the second of two hoards of Late Bronze Age date discovered by the finder whilst searching an arable field with a metal detector. This second hoard ('Driffield Hoard II') consists of 158 (fragments of) bronze socketed axes and ingot fragments (including two nearly complete plano-convex ingots). The finder reported it to the Portable Antiquities Scheme and the Hoard was recorded and lifted by PAS staff (Dr Leahy, a National Advisor for the Portable Antiquity Scheme, assisted by archaeological project officer Mr Savage). The second Driffield hoard was found 3.5 m away from the first ('Driffield Hoard I'(2016 T239)). This first hoard had been found and recorded on Wednesday the 23rd of March 2016, the second a few days later on Monday the 28th of March, being excavated and recorded on Tuesday the 29th of March 2016.

The hoard consists of 36 complete socketed axes of at least five types, 23 broken axes or axe fragments, two (nearly) complete bun-shaped ingots of plano-convex type and 91 ingot fragments, many of which were of the plano-convex type. A further 11 ingot fragments were handed in with the hoard in a separate bag, labelled "from around the hoard deposit, not within it". Unfortunately, it is not entirely clear how these fragments relate to the hoard. Dr Leahy thinks some of these were scraps recovered during cleaning up after excavation (Dr Leahy, pers. corr.). The finder mentions several small pieces of ingot that were found outside the deposit lying in the chalk rubble on a level with the top of the hoard (the finder, pers. corr.). However, there were only three to five of these fragments, not 11. One or two ingot fragments that dropped out of axe sockets may also have been bagged separately and perhaps these ended up amongst the 11 fragments (ibid.). Alternatively, six ingot fragments from the top of the other hoard ('Driffield Hoard I), which were removed before its nature became apparent are amongst the 11 fragments (ibid.). The finder also found four to five further pieces that may be ingot fragments, three of which came from 150 m away from the hoard location (ibid) and these may have been included in this group of 11 ingots. Given the uncertainty about the context of these 11 pieces, they were not included in the hoard catalogue, but described separately as 'possibly related ingot fragments'. A final heading lists several unrelated finds, including several ingot fragments, a possible Roman brooch and a worked stone, which were found in the same field as the hoard. A piece of fire-cracked quartzite was found in the area of the hoards and may have been related to them (Dr K. Leahy, pers. com).

Most of the axes and axe fragments in the hoard that could be identified, 25 in total, are of the regional Yorkshire Type, with smaller numbers of South-eastern Type axes from the south of England (ten in total), and five possible Portree Type axes with a Scottish origin. Two miniature axes could not be typified and four normal axes did not fit comfortably into any of the above types (please see discussion below). Many of the axes were in a good condition, some retaining their original metallic surface. The ingots were more corroded, perhaps suggesting a different composition. The 'Driffield Hoard II' weighed around 27 kg., making it the largest Bronze Age Hoard recorded from Yorkshire (Dr. T G Manby pers. com). Plano-convex ingots and the types of axes present in this hoard generally fall within the earlier phases of the Ewart Park phase of the Late Bronze Age (c. 950-850 BC) (Needham et al. 1997).

Descriptive catalogue:

Most of the axes and ingot were still covered with soil when inspected. This obscured some of their features. For a more full and detailed description and comparison of different types further conservation work is required.

Axes

Three different axe types could be identified in the hoard with relative confidence and there seems to have been at least one more distinct type which could not by typified. Four more axes could not be grouped into any of the above four categories and have been considered separately. Below, a general description of each type is given before followed by a short description of the axes in this hoard which conform to this type. For the purposes of this Treasure report the axes of Type 3 (Yorkshire Type) have been further sub-divided by the author into 5 sub-categories (A-E) and a group of 'other' Yorkshire axes that did not fit into any of these five groups. Please note that for the purposes of this Treasure report, the objects within the hoard were renumbered. The first number in the descriptive catalogue is the new number assigned for this report. The numbers in square brackets are the original find numbers given to the objects in this hoard. The original find numbers relate to the positions of the axes within the hoard deposit and are, therefore, of great importance.

Type 1: Portree, Variant Alford(?) (Schmidt and Burgess 1981, 184)

This type of axe is short and wedge shaped with fairly straight sides and an expanded blade. The loop is set below a prominent and fairly heavy collar. Some of the axes have one or two parallel and opposing haft ribs which run to about halfway down the inside of the face of these axes. There does not seem to be any decoration on these axes, but all of them have casting seams on their sides, which are more prominent on some than others. The shape of the body without the blade is that of a rectangular with slightly diverging sides and the socket square in plan.

Type 2: South-eastern type (Schmidt and Burgess 1981, 212)

This axe type is long and narrow with straight sides and a splayed, almost crescentic blade. There is a single horizontal moulding below the collar, which is rather heavy in most axes, although a few are less prominent, and only display a slight change in angle between the blade and collar. The loop is set below the collar and its upper end runs into the moulding below the collar. Other than the moulding there is no decoration on any of these axes. Some do display casting seams on their sides. One of the axes has two opposing haft ribs which run to about halfway down the inside of the face of this axe. None of the other axes seems to have these hafting ribs. These axes come on different sizes, the largest being about a 100 mm in length, and the smallest about 51 mm. The body without the blade is rectangular in shape and the socket square to rectangular in plan, although some (especially the smaller axes) have a more round or oval-shaped socket.

Type 3: Yorkshire (Schmidt and Burgess 1981, 223)

This type of axe, which occurs mostly in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire (Schmidt and Burgess 1981, 223) is very distinctive. The main characteristic of this type is the three widely spaced parallel and straight or slightly diverging ribs descending about halfway down the face from a horizontal moulding below a prominent, heavy collar (ibid.). The outer ribs are generally placed near the edges of the face (ibid). The loop is set below the collar and its upper end runs into the moulding (ibid.). Inside the socket there are sometimes opposed ribs, often reaching down to the bottom of the cavity (ibid.). The body without the blade is rectangular in shape and the socket square in plan (ibid.).

Yorkshire axes range in shape and size, from long, straight-sided, wedge-shaped ones with unexpanded blades, to small, stumpy examples with strongly expanded blades (ibid). There are also axes which conform to the Yorkshire type in their general shape and proportions, but they lack the diagnostic wide-spaced ribs (ibid.). However, until comprehensive ordering of the type has been achieved, these can be included in this type (ibid.). It is probably possible to create meaningful subdivision within the broad category of Yorkshire type axes, but this has not yet been achieved due to the great numbers of these axes and the subtlety of the variations involved (ibid., please see discussion below).

In this report, only the axes with the characteristic moulding and rib have been categorised as Yorkshire types. Within the larger group of these axes, at least five different types (A-E) could be recognised.

Sub-type A

This is the largest and longest of the Yorkshire Type axes. It has a relatively long body which is a lot narrower near the collar than near the slightly expanding blade, giving the axe a slender and elegant look. The socket is mostly square in plan. The moulding and ribs are narrow, with the moulding well defined and the ribs slightly less so, though still clear. The ribs are either straight or slightly diverging and run to about halfway down the body (beyond the loop). Many of these axes have two fairly prominent opposing haft ribs on the inside of the socket that start about 15 mm below the collar and run down almost to the bottom of the cavity. Casting ribs are visible on all these axes. The uniformity in shape and size within this sub-type is remarkable, with several of these axes looking very similar (please see discussion below). It is the largest group within the Yorkshire type, with eight axes identified as a Type 3.A.

Sub-type B

This is a short and squat Yorkshire Type axe. It has a relatively short body with relatively straight edges until they expand into a splayed, almost crescentic blade. The body without the blade is rectangular in shape and the socket square. These axes come in different sizes, from small (c. 60 mm. long), to medium (c. 75 mm.), to large (c. 85 mm). The moulding and ribs on these axes is not very prominent and in some cases barely distinguishable. The ribs mostly slightly diverging and quite short (they do not extend beyond the loop. These axes have two prominent opposing haft ribs on the inside of the socket that mostly start at the collar and run down almost to the bottom of the cavity. Casting ribs are visible on all these axes, sometimes trimmed down significantly. Four axes in this hoard have been identified as a Type 3.B.

Sub-type C

This is a short Yorkshire Type axe with a relatively short body with diverging sides that widen into an expanded blade. It is similar to Type B, but slightly less squat and more slender looking. The body without the blade is sub-rectangular in shape (as the sides diverge into the blade) and the socket rectangular to square. The parallel ribs on these axes are thin and generally clearly visible, as is the moulding. The ribs are straight on two axes and slightly diverge on the third. Two axes have quite short ribs that do not extend beyond the loop, but in one they reach down to about halfway down the face. These axes have two prominent opposing haft ribs on the inside of the socket. In two axes these start at the collar and run down almost to the bottom of the cavity, in the third axe they start about 15 mm below the collar and stop before they reach the blade. Casting ribs are visible on all these axes, but these have often been trimmed down significantly. There seems to be a fair amount of difference in several features between these axes (e.g. rib decoration, haft ribs), but there overall shape and form would suggest they all belong to this sub-type. Three axes in this hoard have been identified as a Type 3.C.

Sub-type D

This is a short Yorkshire type axe with a relatively short body with diverging sides that widen into a splayed blade. It is similar to Type C, but with a more rounded blade. In this sense it is more like type B, but Type D axes are less squat and a bit more slender. Their blades are also less curved than those of Type B. The body without the blade is sub-rectangular in shape (as the sides diverge into the blade) and the socket square in plan. The moulding and ribs on these axes are relatively prominent. The moulding is also rather wide, as is the loop. The parallel ribs are straight and quite short (only just extending beyond the loop). These axes have two opposing haft ribs on the inside of the socket, but these are not very prominent. The start about 10 mm below the collar and only run to about halfway down the cavity. Casting ribs are visible on these axes, though some have been trimmed down significantly towards the blade. Only two axes in this hoard have been identified as a Type 3.D.

Sub-type E

There is only one axe of Type E in the 'Driffield Hoard II' (no. 33) and the sub-type was only recognised after the inspection of Driffield Hoard I, which has two axes similar in form and size (nos. 10 and 11). This sub-type resembles Type C in that it is a relatively short and stocky Yorkshire Type axe, but the sides of Type E axes continue straight for longer, giving these axes a more square and broad/stocky look. The sides expand quite rapidly just above the blade into a more heavily expanded blade than in Type C, which is a second difference with Type C axes, that have slightly expanded blades at most. The body without the blade is rectangular in shape and the socket rectangular to square in plan. The parallel ribs on these axes are thin and generally clearly visible. The ribs are straight and can be spaced narrowly or wider depending on the axe. The ribs are relatively short, only extending just beyond the loop. These axes have two opposing haft ribs on the inside of the socket. In two axes these start at the collar and run down almost to the bottom of the cavity, in the third axe they start about 5 mm below the collar and stop before they reach the blade. Casting ribs are visible on all these axes, but these have often been trimmed down. There seems to be a fair amount of difference in several features between these axes (e.g. rib decoration, haft ribs), but their overall shape and form would suggest sub-type could be a separate sub-type. As mentioned, only one axe in this hoard was classified as such, the other two appearing in Driffield Hoard I.

Other Yorkshire type

Three axes could not be fitted comfortably into any of the sub-types, and although several of them share similarities, there were not enough of these to define another sub-type.

Unidentifiable fragments

Several axe fragments clearly belong to the Yorkshire Type given their characteristic moulding and parallel rib decoration, but they lack their blades which means it is impossible to say to which sub-type they might belong.

Type 4: South-eastern Type(?) (cf. Turner 2010, 9, 10, 202, nos. 02/26, 02/27, 21/11)

There were only two axes of this type, which can be characterised as small socketed axes with a relatively long body and sides that converge slightly towards before splaying out into an expanded blade. The collar is narrow and defined by a step-like transition between the face of the blade and the collar, though this is clearer on one axe (no. 41) than the other, where the transition between face and collar is smoother. The upper end of the loop runs into the collar. There is no decoration on these axes, but casting seams can be seen on the top and bottom. On one axe (no. 42), the seam on the top has almost been trimmed away. The presence of haft ribs cannot be assessed due to soil and an ingot stuck into the sockets of these axes. The shape of the body without the blade is rectangular, though it is slightly narrower near the blade than at the mouth. The socket of this type is oval-shaped in plan.

Axes of uncertain type

Apart from the five groups of axes discussed above, a few axes did not seem to fit into any of the above categories. These are briefly described in the full report.

Axe fragments of uncertain type

Apart from the whole or broken axes which could be typified, a large number of smaller fragments were found that cannot readily be placed into one of the categories above. They are discussed in the full report.

Ingots

The ingot(s) (fragments) can be grouped into four rough type categories, based on their size and shape. However, some fragments that were found together (numbered A, B, C etc.) were discussed with the other fragments of that number rather than under their separate type heading. Aside from the ingot fragments within the hoard, 11 fragments were found outside it, in the chalk on a level with the top of the hoard. As these are probably associated with the hoard, they are also described below.

Please note that the below descriptions are initial observations. Due to the large amount of soil still clinging to the ingot fragments a more detailed description of the features was not yet possible. Thus, the statements in the full report should be considered preliminary.

Type 1: Fragments of large plano-convex ingots

These are fragments that seem to belong to relatively large plano-convex-ingots. They are often quite high and/or the curvature of their edge suggests they belonged to an ingot that had a large diameter.

Type 2: Fragments of medium plano-convex ingots

These are fragments that seem to belong to slightly smaller medium-sized plano-convex-ingots given their lower height and/or the greater curvature of their edges

Type 3: Small fragments of (plano-convex) ingots

A final group of plano-convex ingot fragments was too small to be confidently grouped into Types 1 and 2. They probably mostly belong to medium sized plano-convex ingots.

Type 4: Small ingot fragments of irregular shape

A final group of ingot fragments could not be classified as belonging to plano-convex ingots due to their small size and often rather irregular shape. Yet many of the small fragments listed may have been plano-convex ingots.

Type 5: Complete plano-convex ingots

Two (almost) complete plano-convex ingots of medium size were also part of the Driffield II Hoard.

Possibly related ingot fragments

11 fragments of ingot contained in a bag labelled "from around the hoard deposit, not within it" were handed in with the hoard. It is not quite sure how they relate to the hoard, but it seems that some of them may have been related to the hoard in some way (cf. Circumstances of discovery on p. 1, above).

Unrelated finds (not prehistoric)

A number of other finds were made in the same field as 'Driffield Hoard II':

Plot 2; A flat piece of metal(?)

Plot 3: A small flat piece of copper alloy ingot?

Plot 6: A worked stone (rubber?)

Plot 7: A small edge fragment of a plano-convex ingot

Plot 8: A small copper alloy ingot?

Plot 9: A Roman brooch(?)

70. A fragment of chalk(?)

Discussion

Axes

At least five types of axes were found in the 'Driffield Hoard II'. The majority (25 in total) are of the Yorkshire Type. Five axes are of Type 1 (possibly Portree Type), ten are South-eastern Type axes, two are Type 4 miniature axes and four axes are of uncertain type. It is interesting to note that the number of Yorkshire Type axes and axe fragments (25 in total) is very close to the total number of axes and axe fragments of other types (21 in total). However, as thirteen fragments (mostly of blade tips) could not be identified to type, it is not possible to say whether this number is significant or purely coincidental.

Type 1: Portree, Variant Alford(?) (Schmidt and Burgess 1981, 184)

The closest parallels for the five axes of Type 1 (nos. 1-5) can be found on Plates 73-76 in Schmidt and Burgess 1981 (e.g. nos. 1075, 1078, 1085), although most axes illustrated here seem bigger than the ones in the Driffield Hoard. These are axes of the Portree Type, which are described as 'baggy' axes with relatively broad bodies of sub-rectangular section and sub-rectangular mouths (ibid. 184). The sides are concave and curve gently towards an expanding blade (ibid.) As none of the Type 1 axes have any decoration (they are plain), they most likely are of the Variant Alford. Unlike the Portree Type of which they are a variety, the Alford axes do not have a deep flaring collar, but only a slightly moulded or bevelled rim and they are completely plain (ibid. 188). Portree axes belong to the Ewart Park phase, which fits with the other axe types in this hoard (ibid. 186-187). However, Portree axes occur mostly in Scotland with concentrations in the west Highlands and Hebrides, especially Skye (ibid. 190), and they normally do not occur outside Scotland (ibid. 186). This, in combination with the small size of the axes and the expanded to splayed blades in the Driffield Hoard makes the identification of Type 1 axes as Portree Type rather tentative. As several other axe types in the hoard come from or have links with southern England, parallels for the Type 1 axes were also sought here. It seems that plain 'baggy' axes are rare in southern England; the only parallels for the Type 1 axes found are a 'bag shaped' axe from Somerset in Pearce 1983, Plate 99, no. 825. Thus, though tentative, the Type 1 axes in the 'Driffield Hoard II' are perhaps most likely of the Portree Type (Variant Alford).

Type 2: South-eastern Type (Schmidt and Burgess 1981, 212)

Three butt-end fragments and seven complete axes with relatively straight sides and a splayed, almost crescentic blade and a single horizontal moulding below the collar are most like the South-Eastern Type, described as "slender, rectangular sectioned, slightly concave-sided socketed axes" (Schmidt and Burgess 1981, 212). The axes in the Driffield Hoard are very dissimilar in size and form and various sub-types seem to be present. South-eastern axes usually have some form of collar and moulding by which the type can be sub-divided (ibid.). Axes similar to the ones in the Driffield Hoard are illustrated on Plate 84 and 85 in Schmidt and Burgess 1981. Nos. 1267, 1269 (Plate 84), belonging to the Isle of Harty Variant, are similar to axes nos. 9 and 11 in shape and size. No. 1274 (Plate 85), belonging to Variant Shoebury, is also similar to nos. 9 and 11. Nos. 1272 and 1273, of the Worthing Variant, are similar to the larger no. 10. The small axe illustrated on Plate 85 (no. 1288) is very similar in shape and size to no. 7. No. 1287 (Plate 85) displays exactly the same decoration as no. 8 and they have a similar shape, although the latter is a bit smaller.

Axe no. 13 is actually most similar to south-eastern Type axes of the Isle of Harty Type (slender and long with concave bodies), though it has a more crescentic blade and is a lot smaller than the most axes of this Type and Variant depicted in Schmidt and Burgess (1981, Plate 84, nos. 1267 and 1269). In the south of England we find closer parallels for these two axes. For instance, an axe similar in size and shape (though with a less crescentic and more splayed blade) was found in the Forty Acre Brickfield Hoard from Worthing, Sussex (Smith 1958, GB. 37, card 3 (3), no. 28). Like no 13, this axe has a barely perceptible moulding and concave sides before splaying out into the blade. A similar axe with a more crescentic blade was part of the Shoebury Hoard in Essex (ibid. GB.38, card 2 (2), no. 14). The Bexley Heat Hoard from Kent also includes smaller axes with concave sides and a crescentic blade that look very similar to no. 13 (and no. 44, though this has no moulding) (Britton 1960, GB.53, card 3 (3), nos. 28 and 29). More parallels for axe no. 13 can be found in the eponymous Isle of Harty Hoard, which contains several small and slender axes that look very similar to the ones in the Driffield Hoard (Smith 1956, GB. 18, card 3 (2), nos. 16, 18, 20 and 21), although their blades are more expanded or splayed than crescentic. Thus, axe 53 can be assigned with relative confidence to the south-eastern Type, Variant Isle of Harty.

Axe no. 12, though originally classified as an uncertain type axe is in fact very similar to the axes of South-eastern Type, though it is not as slender and the loop is set below the moulding, rather than running into it. A similar axe with a low-set loop is part of the Shoebury Hoard (Smith 1958, GB.38, card 2 (2), no. 25)). Fittingly, the closest parallel in Schmidt and Burgess (1981, Plate 85, no. 1271) is a South-eastern Type axe of the Shoebury Variant from Halifax (West Riding of Yorkshire). This type is characterised by having a marked, bulbous collar and a horizontal moulding below it and a body with straight parallel sides that curve suddenly into a strongly expanded blade. Several South-eastern Type axes that could not be sub-typed also have loops set below the moulding (e.g. ibid. Plate 85, nos. 1285 and 1289).

South-eastern Type axes belong to the Ewart Park phase. The Isle of Harty Variant has clear Wilburton background and was probably amongst the earliest Ewart Park phase socketed axes to be made by Carp's Tongue smiths in Lowland England (Schmidt and Burgess 1981, 216). This fits the chronology of the other axe types in the Driffield Hoard. Other variants are more widespread and may have been produced for a longer period (ibid. 217). They occur in vast numbers in Ewart Park hoards in south-eastern England (ibid.). Schmidt and Burgess record six other hoards with South-Eastern Type axes in Scotland and Northern England, five of which were found in Yorkshire (ibid., please see discussion below). The Driffield hoard thus fits in this pattern.

Type 3: Yorkshire (Schmidt and Burgess 1981, 223)

With a total of 25 axes and butt-end fragments categorised as Yorkshire Type (Type 3), this is by far the largest number of axes within the Driffield Hoard. These axes are found in hoards in Yorkshire (with a concentration in eastern Yorkshire) and other parts of England, including Lincolnshire, East Anglia, North Lancashire and the Border region (Schmidt and Burgess 1981, 238). The associated finds in these hoards date Yorkshire axes to the Ewart Park phase (ibid. 238-39), which fits with the dating of the other types in this hoard.

Schmidt and Burgess (1981, 223) state that the Yorkshire type "are capable of meaningful subdivision, but given their great number and the subtlety of the variations involved thisis beyond the scope of the present work." Yet as Yorkshire type axes are amongst the most common axes found in hoards in north-eastern England (Manby et al. 2003, 68), a study into the various sub-types of the Yorkshire type would be very welcome. As outlined above and discussed below, several potential sub-types could be recognised within the Driffield hoards. However, some of the sub-types here are defined based on two or three axes only. Moreover, as Schmidt and Burgess (1981, 223) state, there is a subtlety in the variation between various sub-types, which makes it hard to draw clear lines between some of them. Type A and B seem to be the relatively self-contained and distinct types, with clear features and characteristics that mark them as such. Yet Types C, D and E are more similar to each other and some axes arguably fit into more than just one of these Types. In order to see whether the proposed sub-division of the Yorkshire Type is meaningful, it would be necessary to compare axe measurements and dimensions systematically. It would also be very useful to compare the axes in the Driffield Hoard to Yorkshire axes from other (hoard) contexts to establish whether the preliminary sub-types are indeed meaningful. Until this can be achieved, the sub-types as defined in this report should remain tentative.

Sub-type A

The largest sub-type within the Yorkshire Type is sub-type A, with eight axes categorised as such. This long and slender axe has the typical decoration of Yorkshire type axes and a few parallels can be found (e.g. nos. 1427 and 1532 on Plates 92 and 97 in Schmidt and Burgess 1981). However, their shape and dimensions, and especially their slender form would also fit axes of the Welby Type (cf. no. 1339 on Plate 88 in Schmidt and Burgess 1981). Welby Type axes are similar to South-eastern Type axes in form, but usually have the parallel ribbed decoration which is similar to that of Yorkshire type axes (cf. ibid. 221). South-eastern Type axes are described as "slender, rectangular sectioned, slightly concave-sided socketed axes" (ibid. 212).

Welby Type axes (Schmidt and Burgess 1981, 221) or Southern English ribbed axes (Needham 1990, 32) are widespread in southern and eastern England, more thinly scattered throughout the Highland Zone and very uncommon to the north of Yorkshire. However, 8 out of the 22 Welby Type axes found in the north come from East Yorkshire, compared to 2 from North Yorkshire, 4 from West Yorkshire, 4 from Scotland, 3 from Lancashire and 2 from Cumberland (cf. Schmidt and Burgess 1981, 221-222). Thus, this type is most common in Yorkshire and particularly East Yorkshire. This distribution pattern also overlaps quite neatly with the main concentration of Yorkshire Type axes in Yorkshire, which means the 'Driffield Hoard II' fits in quite nicely (Schmidt and Burgess 1981, 223, also see Plate 129 and 130 in). In the south of England, these axes occur frequently in late Carp's Tongue hoards and the long, slender Welby type axes probably date to around 900 BC, early in the Ewart Pak phase (ibid. 223). A Yorkshire hoard from Sproatley contained three axes of Welby type in association with three axes of Yorkshire type, four axes of south-eastern type and one of Type Everthorpe (ibid. 160). This combination of axe types is similar to the one found in the Driffield Hoards and demonstrates that Yorkshire and Welby types are sometimes found together. The 'Driffield Hoard II' may be another example of this.

It is difficult at present to be certain about the affinities of the sub-type A axes, and more research needs to be done to establish whether they are more closely related to the Welby or Yorkshire type (perhaps by systematic measurement and dimension comparison). If they are indeed of the Welby Type, this would be very interesting, given the fact that they seem rare in Yorkshire, yet make up the largest group of axes within 'Driffield Hoard II'.

As mentioned above, the uniformity of sub-type A axes is remarkable. Six of the axes in this sub-type are very similar in size and form (all being about 97 mm in length), with only the nos. 16 and 23 being slightly smaller (92 and 94 mm long). The group of six can be further sub-divided into two groups according blade width. One group contains axes with blades of around 50 mm. wide (nos. 17, 19, 21), the other group has blades of c. 52 mm. wide (nos. 18, 20, 22). Based on socket dimensions and similarities in the ribs, loop and haft ribs, it seems possible that nos. 19 and 21 come from the same mould. Similarly, nos. 20 and 22 were probably made using the same mould. Blade width may differ as a result of (re)sharpening an axe, so it is possible that the great similarity within the whole group of six axes is the result of them having been made in the same workshop.

A final note is that one of the smaller Type A axes (no. 23) is very similar in shape and form to an axe found in 'Driffield Hoard I'(no. 1). Though probably not from the same mould (there are a few slight differences between the two axes), they may have come from the same workshop. Whatever their relation, their great similarity suggests that Hoard I and II were somehow related.

Sub-type B

Sub-type B contained four axes. Schmidt and Burgess 1981 illustrate a number of Yorkshire type axes that look very similar to the Type 3.B axes in the Driffield hoard. Parallels of this short and squat Yorkshire Type axe with relatively straight sides and a splayed, almost crescentic blade can be found on the following Plates:

Plate 90: nos. 1378, 1384, 1388

Plate 93: nos. 1446

Plate 95: nos. 1489 (cf. no. 24 in the Driffield hoard)

Plate 98: nos. 1548

Plate 99; nos. 1558

They also illustrate a Welby Type axe that looks similar on Plate 88 (no. 1335).

Sub-type C

Three short-bodied Yorkshire Type with diverging sides that widen into an expanded blade axes were classified as sub-type C. Parallels can be found on the following Plates in Schmidt and Burgess 1981:

Plate 90: nos. 1377, 1380

Plate 92: nos. 1414, 1427

Plate 93: nos. 1436, 1437, 1444

Plate 94: nos. 1458, 1459, 1474 (cf. no. 58 in the Driffield Hoard)

Plate 96: nos. 1501, 1503, 1504, 1514

Plate 97: nos. 1501, 1503, 1504, 1514

Plate 98: nos. 1536, 1545

Once again a Welby Type axe also looked similar to the sub-type B axes (no. 1340 on Plate 88).

Sub-type D

Schmidt and Burgess 1981 illustrate axes that are similar to the two sub-type D Yorkshire type axes with a relatively short body and diverging sides that widen into an splayed blade on the following plates:

Plate 91: nos. 1402, 1405

Plate 93: no. 1488

Plate 96: no. 1507

Plate 97: no. 1529

Sub-type E

As mentioned above, only one axe in this hoard fits into sub-type E (the other two come from Driffield Hoard I). This axe (no. 33) has parallels on:

Plate 91: nos. 1397, 1409

Plate 96: nos. 1497, 1515

Plate 97: no. 1529

Plate 98: no. 1549

Other Yorkshire type

The three axes that could not be fitted comfortably into any of the sub-types, had some parallels in Schmidt and Burgess (1981). Some of these overlap, demonstrating the similarities between some of these miscellaneous axes of the Yorkshire Type. However, they do not seem similar enough to group them into a separate sub-type.

Similar axes to no. 34 can be found on Plate 97 (nos. 1525 and 1534) and Plate 98 (no. 1544). Axe no. 35 has parallels on Plate 89 (no. 1356), Plate 91 (no. 1400, 1405), Plate 97 (1525) and Plate 98 (no. 1548). Finally, similar axes to axe no. 36 can be found on Plate 90 (no. 1374), Plate 91 (nos. 1402, 1405, 1408), Plate 92 (no. 1417), Plate 93 (nos. 1434, 1438, 1446), Plate 96 (nos. 1507, 1510) and Plate 97 (no. 1529).

Type 4: South-eastern Type(?) (cf. Turner 2010, 9, 10, 202, nos. 02/26, 02/27, 21/11)

The two small socketed axes with a relatively long body and slightly concave sides that splay out into an expanded blade are separated from other types, mostly due to their small size. The only good parallel for these miniature axes in Schmidt and Burgess (1981, Plate 106, no. 1687) is an unclassified axe from Achnacree Moss (Scotland). In southern England, Turner (2010, 223, Illus. 5 nos. 02/26 and 02/27) illustrates a few similar small axes from the Grays Thurrock I Hoard. A final axe that looks somewhat similar can be found in the Stoke-at-Hoo Hoard (ibid. 343, Illus. 125, no. 21/11). Turner calls these axes 'of plain south-eastern Type' (ibid. 9, 10, 202). Given this, the two miniature axes in the Driffield Hoard II could perhaps be grouped under Type 2 (south-eastern axes), but given their very small size, it seems unlikely these objects were used as axes' (they may in fact have been other woodworking tools), so it was decided to keep them separate. Nevertheless, this type of 'axe' seems more common in the south of England, once again suggesting a southern link for the Driffield Hoard II.

Axes of uncertain type

Four axes that did not comfortably fit into the above typology will be discussed here. Parallels for axe no. 43, with two clearly defined mouldings below the collar and a relatively long body with sides that diverge into an expanded, splayed blade can be found in Schmidt and Burgess (1981) on Plates 71 (no. 1009), 72 (no. 1026) and 84 (no. 1251). These axes belong to the Wilburton, Highfield and Meldreth (Variant Westow) Types. The Wilburton Type has a long and narrow body with a square socket plan and multiple thin mouldings at the mouth, just like axe no. 43. This type can be dated towards the end of the Wilburton tradition as it occurs in hoards in southern England that also contain material belonging to the Ewart Park phase (Ibid. 178). Early socketed axes like this one are relatively rare so distribution patterns are difficult to assess, but two out of three described in Schmidt and Burgess (1981, 178, 180) come from the East Riding of Yorkshire. Type Highfield axes may represent a descendant of the multiple moulding axes of the Wilburton tradition, dating to the early Ewart Park phase (ibid. 180, 182). However, their distribution is confined mostly to Scotland and Northumberland, with only one of the axes described in Schmidt and Burgess coming from Yorkshire (ibid. Plate 125). As this distribution is exclusive of other multiple moulding axes, it seems they may have been a northern version of, or derivative from the more slender Wilburton Type axes (ibid. 183). Type Meldreth is characterised by a slender faceted body which runs into a trumpet-shaped collar, curving upwards and outwards (ibid. 205). There is a wide variety in treatment of the collar, which may have one or more mouldings, grooves or steps (ibid.). Variant Westow (which is rare) has a mouth with multiple mouldings, like axe no. 43. However, this axe lacks the typical faceted body of this type, so it is perhaps more likely to be a Highfield or Wilburton Type axe.

Parallels for small axe no. 44 are hard to find. It seems similar to South-eastern Type axes. The Bexley Heat Hoard from Kent for instance, includes smaller axes with concave sides and a crescentic blade that look very similar to no. 44, but the Driffield axe has no moulding (Britton 1960, GB.53, card 3 (3), nos. 28 and 29). Similar small and slender axes can be found in the eponymous Isle of Harty Hoard (GB. 18, card 3 (2), nos. 16, 18, 20, 21), but once again, these all have clear mouldings, unlike axe no. 44. Perhaps its small size means that it is no axe but another wood-working tool.

Axe no. 45 looks similar to axes on Plates 73 (no. 1050), 75 (no. 1071) and 87 (nos. 1330, 1331) in Schmidt and Burgess (1981). The axes on Plates 73 and 75 are all of the Portree Type, but not of the Alford variety (cf. Type 1, above), as they, like no. 45, have a horizontal moulding. No. 1050 is of general Portree attribution, and 1071 belongs to the Kalemouth Variant, which is described as having a horizontal moulding at the level of the top of the loop below a rounded or plain collar (ibid. 187). However, axe no. 45 is also very similar to axes of the Everthorpe Type (illustrated on Plate 87 in ibid.). These axes are the most widespread plain socketed axes in the north of England and Scotland and are characterised by a wedge-shaped form with slightly diverging sides, unexpanded or slightly expanded blades a distinct, slightly flaring collar and a horizontal moulding below, which runs into the top of the loop (ibid. 218). The mouth of this type is square in plan with rounded collars and ribs are common in the socket (ibid.). Axe no. 45 is similar to this description in almost all respects, save the blade shape, which is heavily expanded almost crescentic. Everthorpe axes date to the earlier part of the Ewart Park phase and are concentrated in the south-eastern parts of Yorkshire, possibly suggesting a south Yorksire workshop producing axes for the local market (ibid. 221). This type may be a more specialised version of the more common and widespread Yorkshire type, which is very similar apart from the parallel ribs on the body (ibid.). Given axe no. 45's heavy collar it is more likely to be an Everthorpe Type axe. Yet given its rather 'baggy' appearance, it was decided to keep it in the uncertain category.

Parallels for small axe no. 46 with its broad, plain collar are hard to find. Pearce has a slightly similar looking axe on Plate 45, no. 281a, but it's longer and the collar more pronounced/stepped. Perhaps here, once again, we are dealing with another wood-working tool, which has not been classified yet.

Axes summary

The 'Driffield Hoard II' contains at least four types of axes, possibly more. The South-eastern and Yorkshire Types (Types 2 and 3) are clear and distinct groups and the axes of Type 1, tentatively identified as belonging to the Portree Type are another distinct group. Type 4 axes, distinct in size and form, could be small south-eastern type axes (cf. Turner 2010), but given their small size they were maintained as a separate type. In addition to the four types of axes, there are some axes of uncertain types, one of which may be an Everthorpe type. Several others seem most similar in form to axes with a southern origin, though they could not be typified with confidence. Finally, one of the sub-types of the Yorkshire Type may actually be its own type: Welby. Thus, the 'Driffield Hoard II' contains at least four definite types (Type 1, 2, 4 and 5) but, with the Welby and the uncertain types, there seem to be up to five more types. The most numerous type is the regional Yorkshire Type, which has tentatively been sub-divided into five sub-types (A-E). Whether this preliminary subdivision is valid needs to be tested through more comparative research.

It is worth noting that several of the axes that could not be typed confidently (e.g. within the uncertain type and Type 4 categories) are rather small. Their small size may suggest they are other woodworking tools rather than axes. Similar 'miniature axes' have been found elsewhere and their typology requires further research (cf. Robinson 1995).

The identifiable axes types in this hoard all date to the Ewart Park phase of the Late Bronze Age (c. 950-850 BC). Interestingly, many of the types seem to date to the earlier phases of this period, suggesting the Hoard as a whole may be dated closer to 950 than 850 BC. The origin and distribution of the types of axes present in this hoard is also interesting, as these demonstrate local and regional, but also longer distant links, both with the south and the north of the UK. Yorkshire Type axes are the most numerous and widespread regional type in this period, with the Everthorpe axes occurring more locally on both banks of the Humber (Manby et al. 2003, 68). South-eastern axes are very common in Ewart Park phase hoards in the south-east of England, and Welby Type (tentatively identified in the 'Driffield Hoard II') are widespread in the same area (ibid. 221). If axes of Type 1 are indeed of Portree Type, this would also suggest links with the North (in Scotland), where these axes occur most frequently. Unsurprisingly, the regional and local group is largest, containing 26 axes in total (if the possible Everthorpe one is counted). Ten (or twelve if the Type 4 axes are indeed of south-eastern Type) axes have a south(-eastern) origin and five axes may come from Scotland.

Ingot(s) (fragments)

Based on size, shape and characteristics the ingots in the 'Driffield Hoard II' could be grouped as follows:

  • Fragments of large plano-convex ingots (nos. 60-74)
  • Fragments of medium plano-convex ingots (nos. 75-89)
  • Small fragments of (plano-convex ingots) (nos. 90-118E)
  • Small ingot fragments of irregular shape (nos. 119- 127)
  • Complete plano-convex ingots (nos. 128, 129)

In addition to these ingot fragments, 11 small fragments that may or may not relate to the hoard were handed in (cf. Circumstances of discovery on p. 1, above). Given their similarity to the ingot fragments that are part of the hoard, it is quite possible that they do relate to it in some way, though unfortunately it is not quite clear how.

During the preliminary assessment of the fragments within the hoard carried out for this report, several fragments in the Type 1 and the Type 2 categories could arguably be grouped in either category (mostly those around 30 mm high), which would mean that the distinction between large and medium plano-convex ingots is arbitrary. However, there are clear differences in height and size and it would be interesting to conduct a more in depth study of the various forms and sizes of plano-convex ingots and ingot fragments. Perhaps systematically comparing the curvature of edge fragments and the thickness of centre fragments would allow us to define more distinct types.

(Plano-convex) ingot fragments are a frequent inclusion in hoards of Later bronze Age Ewart Park date in the south of England (cf. Turner 2010, 86-7). Ingots of raw metal were transported and traded throughout Britain and Europe during the Late Bronze Age (cf. Pare 2013). They were often broken into fragments, ready to be smelted to make a range of bronze objects and seem to have functioned as a kind of currency (ibid.). Plano-convex ingots were cast in a dish-shaped mould, and are often referred to as 'bun' ingots due to their shape. More than 40 Ewart Park hoards, mostly from East Anglia, Essex and Kent, but also from Wales and Pembrokeshire contain fragments of such plano-convex ingots (see NMGW-BA6184 for more examples and more references).

Complete or nearly complete plano-convex ingots like nos. 128 and 129 are rare, but are known from several southern English contexts. Similar complete plano-convex ingots were part of an assemblage of copper alloy and tin ingots associated with the probable Late Bronze Age shipwreck at Salcombe, Devon (Roberts and Veysey 2011). A large tin complete plano-convex ingot was found on the sea bed off Bigbury, Devon, in association with numerous other tin ingots of various shapes and sizes (Knight et al. 2015, 26, Plate 7, no. 109f). Four rather irregular shaped 'bronze cakes' were found in an area of occupation at Mountbatton, Plymouth, though these were all rather small (no more than 10 cm across) (Pearce 1983, 450-51, Plate 35, no. 281t). In hoard context, complete plano-convex ingots are known from the Forty Acre Brickfield Hoard, which contained four bronze or copper 'cakes' (Smith 1958, GB. 37, card 3 (3), no. 32) and the Late Bronze Age Bexley Heat Hoard containing two complete plano-convex copper or bronze cakes (Britton 1960, GB. 53, card 3 (1), no. 11). Another complete plano-convex ingot is known from a Late Bronze Age Ewart Park phase hoard from the Isle of Wight (IOW-622CD9). The largest number of complete plano-convex ingots (seven in total) comes from the late Bronze Age Carp's Tongue Boughton Malherbe hoard, Kent, which consisted of 352 objects and is the third largest hoard ever found in Britain (KENT-15A293).

In northern England, the inclusion of plano-convex ingots or ingot fragments in Late Bronze Age hoards is much rarer than in southern England, but there are a few examples of hoards with Yorkshire Type axes that contain (plano-convex) ingot fragments, including one from Scalby Cliffs, N.R. Yorkshire, (Schmidt and Burgess 1981, 229) and a large hoard from Gilmonby, Durham (Coggins and Tylecote 1983). The Scalby Cliffs Hoard contained two lumps of a plano-convex cake (Schmidt and Burgess 1981, 229), whilst the Gilmonby Hoard contained 'irregular', but also 'wedge shaped' and 'domed' fragments which may belong to plano-convex ingots (Coggins and Tylecote 1983, nos. 65-74). Two lumps of metal are mentioned in relation to the Everthorpe Hoard from East Yorkshire (Schmidt and Burgess 1981, 229, 230) but it is unclear if these are ingot fragments.

Another special feature of the 'Driffield Hoard II' are the four axes that have (or had) fragments of ingots stuffed into their sockets (nos. 17, 11, 42, 30A). The practice of blocking a select number of axes in hoards with a variety of items (including ingot fragments) has been documented in the Carpathian Basin between the 13th and 12th centuries BC and in north-western Europe in the 10th and 9th centuries BC (Dietrich and Mörtz forthcoming). About 60 deposits with one or more blocked axes are now known from England and Ireland (ibid.). Most axes with blocked sockets are found in hoards of medium size (between 25-100 artefacts) in south-eastern Britain. The number of blocked axes from northern England is much lower; for Northern England, Dietrich and Mörtz (ibid.) lists only one example from Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northamptonshire. This lack of blocked axes in the north might be the result of fewer hoards being found in this area generally, but even then, the practice generally seems confined to the south. Thus, the northern 'Driffield Hoard II', with three blocked axes, is quite special in this respect. The practice is often explained in practical terms, to facilitate recycling (ibid.), but given its selective nature, may equally be explained in ritual terms, perhaps constituting a type of meaningful fragmentation (ibid.). The fact that we see this practice, which is much more common in south-eastern England, in the Driffield II Hoard may suggest links with the south-east of England.

In summary, the 'Driffield Hoard II' is notable in that it contains a large number of plano-convex ingot fragments and two almost complete ones, as well as several axes with blocked sockets. The complete plano-convex ingots are not found very often, especially in the north of England. It raises the question of why these bronze cakes were not fragmented like the other plano-convex ingots in this hoard. The inclusion of plano-convex ingot fragments in Late Bronze Age hoards is rare in northern England, happening far more regularly in the south. The large number of (plano-convex) ingot fragments in combination with the south-eastern Type axes and the practice of blocking several axe sockets with objects suggest there is a clear south-eastern link for the 'Driffield Hoard II'.

Similar hoards

Northern England

Consisting of 158 axes, axe fragments and ingot fragments, the Driffield II Hoard is by far the largest Hoard ever found in East Yorkshire. Large hoards of a similar size to the Driffield II hoard are more common in southern England, but there are a few examples of larger hoards in the North that share characteristics with the Driffield II Hoard. One of these is the Late Bronze Age Gilmonby Hoard (County Durham), which contains c. 125 bronze items, including 27 socketed axes (Coggins and Tylecote 1983). Besides axes, the Gilmonby Hoard also contained spearheads, sword fragments, tools, including chisels, knives and gouges, several ornaments and fragments of copper ingot (ibid.). Like the Driffield Hoard, the Gilmonby Hoard contains a range of socketed axe types (ibid). Yet unlike the Driffield Hoard, the axes in the Gilmonby Hoard includes a large number of facetted axes (presumably of Type Meldreth) and only two Yorkshire Type axes (ibid.). It does also contain a number of axes with a 'baggy' Portree Type appearance (nos. 11-13). One of the axes (no. 22) had the missing edge of a blade wedged in its socket. The hoard contains material not normally found together, which suggest long-distance trade (ibid.). If some of the axes are indeed of southern (Meldreth) and northern (Portree) types, the Gilmonby Hoard, which also contains ingot fragments and an axe with a blocked socket, might have both northern and southern links, just like the Driffield Hoards. Cited by 1Schmidt and Burgess (1981, 223-237), list a number of medium to large hoards in northern England and Scotland that also contain Yorkshire Type axes. Below the most relevant of these are listed:

Stephen Briggs, Kevin Leahy and Stuart P. Needham, The Late Bronze Age Hoard from Brough-On-Humber: A Re-Assessment Antiquaries Journal Volume 67, Issue 1 1987, pp. 11-28

  • Kalemouth, Roxburghshire (Hoard C. Plate 145)
  • Kilkerran, Dailly, Ayrshire (Hoard B, Plate 147)
  • Kirkby Malzeard, West Riding Yorkshire (Hoard B, Plate 149)
  • Bilton Hoard, West Riding Yorkshire (Hoard A, Plate 151)
  • Scalby Cliffs, North Riding Yorkshire (Hoard A, Plate 150)
  • Everthorpe, East Riding Yorkshire (Hoard C, Plate 149)
  • Westow, East Riding Yorkshire (Hoard B, Plate 145)
  • Heathery Burn, Stanhope, Durham (NB: cave find, not a hoard)
  • Sproatley, East Riding Yorkshire (Hoard E, Plate 140)
  • Driffield, East Riding Yorkshire(?) (not illustrated in Schmidt and Burgess 1981, but see Britton and Longworth 1968)
  • Pocklington, East Riding Yorkshire (Hoard B, Plate 151)
  • Welburn-by-Kirkdale, North Riding Yorkshire (not illustrated in Schmidt and Burgess 1981)

The hoard found at Brough on Humber, East Yorkshire in 1719, (Stephen Briggs, Kevin Leahy and Stuart P. Needham, The Late Bronze Age Hoard from Brough-On-Humber: A Re-Assessment Antiquaries Journal, Volume 67, Issue 1 1987, pp. 11-28) contained socketed axes and casting moulds, but not, so far as is known, ingot fragments. This hoard was described as consisting of 'a bushel of celts', a bushel being 36 litres (eight gallons). At a time when a bushel was a commonly used, and widely known, measure this must have been a very large hoard.

Several of the above hoards, like the Kilkerran, Scalby Cliffs, Bilton and Welburn-by-Kirkdale ones, also contained other materials, including sword fragments, spearheads, and tools such as gouges and chisels (Schmidt and Burgess 1981, 225-226, 229, 189), but the majority only contain axes. Several of the above hoards contain a combination of axe types we also find in the Driffield Hoard. The Kalemouth Hoard for instance contains axes of Type Portree (both Variant Kalemouth and Alford) and one Welby Type axe alongside Yorkshire Type axes (ibid. 223). The Everthorpe Hoard contains the eponymous Everthorpe Type axes in combination with Yorkshire Type and Sompting Type axes (ibid. 230). The Pocklington Hoard also contained an axe of the Everthorpe Type, as well as one of Welby Type and one Yorkshire axe (ibid. 234). The Welburn-by-Kirkdale Hoard is a lot smaller than the Driffield II hoard, but contains a Portree Type, Variant Alfrod axe in association with two unclassified and one Yorkshire Type axe (ibid. 189).

Type Portree axes were not only found in the Kalemouth and Welburn-by-Kirkdale hoards, but also in the Husabost House and Ballimore hoards (Schmidt and Burgess 1981, 184, 196, 189, 223). Other axe types in these hoards are: Meldreth, Gillespie, and Dowris. Like the Kalemouth and Welburn-by-Kirkdale hoards, the Ballimore Hoard contained Variant Alford axes (ibid. 196).

Five of the hoards listed above also had axes of a south(-eastern) origin, often in combination with types also found in Driffield II. The Kirkby Malzeard Hoard for instance, contained axe of Portree, Yorkshire and South-eastern Type (ibid. 227-228). The Bilton Hoard contained Yorkshire Type axes alongside Type Everthorpe, South-eastern and Type Meldreth axes (ibid. 229). The Scalby Cliffs Hoard from North Yorkshire equally contained Yorkshire Type axes in association with axes of Type Meldreth, Everthorpe, Gillespie and Sompting (ibid. 229). This hoard also contained sword fragments and spearheads and it is the only other Yorkshire Type axe hoard listed in Schmidt and Burgess that has fragments of plano-convex ingot as well (although lumps of metal are mentioned in the Everthorpe Hoard (ibid. 229, 230). The Westow Hoard originally contained about 60 axes, though only a number of these remain today (ibid. 208). Six of these are of the South-eastern Type (Variants Isle of Harty and Bilton), three Everthorpe Type axes and eleven Yorkshire Type axes (ibid. 208). The Sproatley Hoard is also similar in its composition, containing Yorkshire, South-eastern, Everthorpe and Welby Type axes (ibid. 160). Though not strictly a hoard as the objects were not necessarily deposited all together, the items from the Heathery Burn Cave in Durham, also include socketed axes of South-eastern Type and Type Portree alongside Yorkshire Type axes (and a mould for their production), just like the Driffield II Hoard.

A final northern English hoard that needs to be mentioned is a possible one from Driffield. Schmidt and Burgess (1981, 233), mention a Yorkshire Type axe that was "found with other celts and broken leaf-shaped swords" according to its British Museum label (BM 73.12-19.173). Unfortunately, no more information is known about this axe or the hoard, but if real, the two Driffield Hoards may not have been the first to have been found here. This 'concentration' of hoards is interesting and requires further research.

Southern England

As mentioned before, the Driffield Hoard is larger than most northern English hoards and it contains many ingot fragments, unlike many of the northern English hoards discussed in the last section. Such large hoards containing objects and ingots tend to be found more often in the south of England. There are many such large hoards in southern England and they cannot all be listed and discussed, but a few examples of hoards that contained similar axe types as the Driffield II Hoard are:

  • Meldreth, Cambridgehsire (Hawkes and Smith 1955, GB. 13 cards 3 (1-3))
  • Isle of Harty, Kent (Smith 1956, GB 18, cards 3 (1-3))
  • Forty Acre Brickfield Hoard, Worthing, Sussex (Smith 1958, GB. 37 cards 3 (1-3))
  • The Shoebury I, II and II Hoards, Essex (Ref. Nos. 06-08 (Smith 1958, GB 38, cards 2 (1-2), Turner 2010, 266-274, Illus. 48-56)
  • Bexley Heath, Kent (Ref. No. 15) (Britton 1960, GB.53, cards 3 (1-3), Turner 2010, 293-303, Illus. 75-85)
  • Grays Thurrock I Hoard, Essex (Ref. No. 02) (Turner 2010, 220-246, Illus. 2-28)
  • All Hallows I Hoard, Kent (Ref. No. 12) (ibid. 284-288, Illus. 66-70)
  • The Minster Hoard, Kent (Ref. No. 20) (ibid. 323-341, Illus. 105-123)
  • Stoke-at-Hoo Hoard (Ref. No. 21) (ibid. 342-347, Illus. 124-129)

The Meldreth Hoard contains a number of socketed axes and other socketed tools, sword fragments, spear heads (and fragments), and 16 fragments of plano-convex ingots (Hawkes and Smith 1955, GB. 13 cards 3 (1-3)). The Isle of Harty Hoard contained several moulds for socketed gouges and axes, two fragments of plano-convex ingot, thirteen South-Eastern Type axes of the Isle of Harty Variant (including a few very small ones similar to nos. 44 and 13 in the Driffield Hoard) and several smaller (socketed) tools (Smith 1956, GB 18, cards 3 (1-3)). The Forty Acre Brickfield Road contains palstaves of several kinds, South-eastern Type socketed axes (including a few that are similar to the Isle of Harty hoard axes) and at least one complete plano-convex ingot (Smith 1958, GB. 37 cards 3 (1-3)). The Shoebury Hoards also contains palstaves, as well as sword fragments, fragments of a plano-convex ingot, axe fragments and Shoebury Variant South-eastern Type axes, some of which look similar to several axes in the Driffield II Hoard (Smith 1958, GB 38, cards 2 (1-2)). The Bexley Heat Hoard also contained sword fragments, a spearhead fragment, a hog's back knife, (fragments of) other tools, including a socketed gouge, chisel and many axes and axe fragments, fragments of ingot and a complete plano-convex ingot (Britton 1960, GB. 53, cards 3 (1-3)). One of the axes had a piece of bronze jammed in the socket (ibid. GB.38, card 3 (3), no. 40). Although some of the items are of Carp's Tongue association, several axes (including the parallels for axe nos. 13 and 44 in the Driffield Hoard) are of an earlier date (c. 700 BC), just like the majority of axes in the 'Driffield Hoard II' (ibid. card 3 (3)). The Grays Thurrock I Hoard is a very large hoard, containing not only socketed axes, but also axe fragments, socketed knives and gouges, chisels, Ewart Park blade fragments, spearheads, various personal items, moulds and casting jets (Turner 2010, 220-239). Like the Driffield II Hoard it also has a large number of (plano-convex) fragments of various sizes (ibid. 239-246). Similarly, the All Hallows I Hoard contains a variety of socketed axes and axe fragments, spearheads and (plano-convex) ingot fragments (ibid. 284-288). The Minster Hoard contains socketed axes of various types, as well as axe fragments, palstaves, winged axes, small tools, sword fragments, socketed spearheads, small miscellaneous items and a large number of (plano-convex ingot) fragments (ibid. 323-341). Finally, the smaller Stoke-at-Hoo Hoard contains socketed axes, axe fragments, small tools, sword fragments and (plano-convex) ingot material (ibid. 2010, 342-347).

Although South-eastern Type axes seem to occur relatively frequently in the north of England, Yorkshire Type axes are found far more sporadically in the south. Pearce (1983, 362-3, Plates 71, no. 604, Plate 81, no. 700d, Plate 99, nos. 831 and 832 and Plate 88, no. 746b) lists five Yorkshire socketed axes, most of which seem to be single finds. Two Yorkshire Type axes come from Somerset, one from Sea Mills, Bristol, one from Hayen, Old Cleeve and one from the Wick Park Hoard (ibid). However, the latter, with a rather 'baggy' body, no horizontal moulding, an oval socket mouth and three converging ribs, does not look like a typical Yorkshire Type axe at all (cf. Pearce 1983, Plate 88, no. 746b).

Arrangement of the hoard deposit

The Hoard was carefully lifted and recorded in seven layers, preserving its arrangement (Mr. The finder and Dr Leahy, pers. corr.). Few hoards have been recorded in situ so this provides us with a detailed insight into the arrangement of the items within the hoard. This is of great interest as it may inform us about how the hoard was deposited and whether it could be considered as a 'structured deposit', a possibility that has been proposed and debated for various prehistoric hoards (Dr Leahy, pers. corr.). Like Driffield Hoard I, the hoard appears to have been covered by a layer of chalk rubble and the soil in which the hoard was deposited contained a considerable amount of chalk fragments (The finder, pers. corr.). Yet unlike Driffield Hoard I, in 'Driffield Hoard II', the ingot fragments were concentrated at one end of the deposit, rather than on top of the axes (Dr Leahy, pers. corr.). In addition, several ingot fragments were found around the hoard (Dr Leahy, pers. corr., the finder, pers. corr.), in close association with it, although unfortunately it is not entirely clear how they relate to the deposit (see Circumstances of discovery on p. 1, above). Like Hoard I, Hoard II appeared to be constrained, as if placed in a container that has now disintegrated (Dr Leahy, pers. corr.)

Landscape context of the hoard

To investigate the landscape context of the hoards, Dr. Hugh Willmott and his colleagues from the University of Sheffield carried out a geophysical survey. The site responded well and a number of curvilinear anomalies probably representing the presence of backfilled cut features were found. The features found may represent a hollow way, a palaeochannel and several ditched land boundaries. Further investigation is necessary to determine the date of the hollow way and field ditches.

Hoard summary

Please see the report for 'Driffield Hoard I' for a comparison between the two hoards, which are likely to be related given their close proximity, the materials included within them and the types of axes present (all of which date to the Ewart Park phase).

It is clear that the combination of axe types, including both local and regional Yorkshire and Everthorpe Types, but also South-eastern Type axes which we find in the Driffield II Hoard is found in several other northern English and Scottish hoards, with the majority of these hoards being found in Yorkshire. In this respect, the Driffield II Hoard fits in quite well. However, some features of this hoard set it apart from others in the north of England. For a start, this hoard is much bigger than most hoards from the north of England;

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Submitted for consideration as Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2016T240

Chronology

Broad period: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod from: Late
Period from: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod to: Late
Period to: BRONZE AGE

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 140

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mrs Rebecca Griffiths
Identified by: Dr Neil Wilkin

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2016T240

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: Yorkshire and the Humber (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)
District: East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Driffield Area

Spatial coordinates


Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: This is the second of two hoards of Late Bronze Age date discovered by the finder whilst searching an arable field with a metal detector. This second hoard (‘Driffield Hoard II’) consists of 158 (fragments of) bronze socketed axes and ingot fragments
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Audit data

Recording Institution: YORYM
Created: 2 years ago
Updated: 12 months ago

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