CAM-2CA569: Early-Medieval Small-long brooch

Rights Holder: Cambridgeshire County Council
CC License:

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Unique ID: CAM-2CA569

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

An Early-Medieval small-long trefoil-headed brooch formed from cast copper-alloy. This artefact weighs 12.02g and is complete with the exception of a missing pin. The head is in the form of a cross with round-ended arms separated by small, sub-right angled to sub-semi-circular, indented clefts. The necks between each pair of clefts, that join the round-ended terminals of the arms to the central part of the brooch head, have a width of c.5.6mm on the side arms and 7.6mm on the central arm. The centre of the head is rectangular with a transverse (width) measurement of c.15.0mm and longitudinal measurement of c.13.7mm. The head gives the brooch the maximum width of 35.1mm. The edges of the head may originally have been decorated with small punch-stamped motifs, see right side of the central arm, however most of the upper surface of the head is obscured from view with concretion product. These punch-stamped marks are most probably small annulets of c.1.3mm diameter. Positioned centrally on the reverse of the head is a single lug that would originally have had a pin, now missing, attached. The lug is orientated longitudinally, and has a length of 8.2mm and width of 3.0mm. The lug projects out of the reverse surface by 5.4mm and has a circular perforation of 2.8mm diameter.

The top of the bow has a width of 10.3mm and tapers to 6.6mm over a length of 16.4mm. The top and base of the bow is defined on the upper surface by closely set shallow transverse grooves and ridges. Three grooves above and two grooves below. The bow has a 'D' shaped cross-section with flat reverse and convex upper surface, formed by bevelled upper edges that meet at the centre forming a subtle longitudinal median line. The bow has been raised up in an arc.

Below the arced bow the brooch continues for a further length of 22.9mm with an elongated foot. The upper part of the foot, has a sub-rectangular to flattened oval cross-section, and has further zones of closely set shallow transverse grooves and ridges. Two closely set grooves are set above another bevelled panel. The bevelled surface forms a flattened longitudinal median line on this panel. This longitudinal line has a width of c.2.3mm, as the bevelled sides do not meet at the centre, and the surface of the line is on the same plane as the rest of the foot's surface. This bevelled panel ends with two closely set transverse low ridges separated by a shallow groove. After a distance of 0.8mm a further cluster of closely set transverse (three) ridges and (two) grooves provide decoration. The lower part of the foot is triangular shaped, flaring out to a width of 10.6mm. The cross-section remains sub-rectangular to a flattened oval across this part of the foot. However, over the transverse grooved and ridged decoration zones the cross-section takes on a semi-circular or slightly flattened 'D' shape. The straight edged transverse terminal of the foot is decoratively defined by the present of a ridge on the upper surface that covers the whole width and accounts for 2.1mm of the total length.

An integral catchplate is present on the reverse surface of the brooch. The catchplate starts immediately below the arched part of the bow, continuing the curved line of the reverse surface of the bow, and extends longitudinally down the middle of the upper foot for a length of 14.8mm. The return is present but partially damaged at the top of the catchplate. When viewing the reverse surface of the brooch, with the head positioned uppermost, the return bends over to the left (to the right if viewed from the front). The catchplate has a width of 2.5mm at the base narrowing to 1.6mm at the top just before the return bends over. Most of the plate has a height of 5.3mm however the distal end is cut away designed to only have a height of 0.9mm. In profile, excluding the stepped end, the solid catchplate has a trapezoidal shape with a narrow based isosceles triangular cross-section.

With the exception of the missing pin this brooch is in complete and sturdy condition. However, copper-alloy corrosion product is present over most parts of the artefact giving a lumpy-bumpy surface that will only deteriorate further over time without specialist stabilisation and conservation.

See SF-DB378A, PUBLIC-14D184, BERK-9F8D1A, FAKL-4FC349.

Class: small-long
Sub class: trefoil-headed

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Subperiod to: Early
Date from: Circa AD 450
Date to: Circa AD 550

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 60.2 mm
Width: 35.1 mm
Weight: 12.02 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Helen Fowler
Identified by: Ms Helen Fowler

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: City of Peterborough (Unitary Authority)
District: City of Peterborough (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Peakirk (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TF1606
Four figure Latitude: 52.63935443
Four figure longitude: -0.28717239
1:25K map: TF1606
1:10K map: TF10NE
Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Other chance find
Discovery circumstances: Found during digging of test pit in finder's back garden
General landuse: Other
Specific landuse: Garden

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: CAM
Created: 2 years ago
Updated: About one year ago

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