ESS-D29E25: Incomplete early medieval strap end

Rights Holder: Colchester Museums
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Unique ID: ESS-D29E25

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

Incomplete Early medieval copper alloy strap end of Thomas Class E1. What remains is the terminal end of the fitting, representing approximately one half of the original object. The upper portion of the strap fitting and flat side end with the fixing holes are missing. The remaining portion is tongue shaped in plan and semicircular in section, in that the reverse side is flat. The fitting has an integrally moulded raised and crenellated border, within which is the open work design. The design is derived from an 'inhabited plant scroll'. It shows a central 'stem' which is decorated at the lower end with five lozenge shaped indentations in a formation akin to an upside down head of wheat. Extending from the stem are four remaining main 'tendrils', notably above and below a pair of opposing birds (or possibly dragons) with their neck and heads bent backwards towards their bodies. The birds' (or dragons' bodies) are decorated with three grooved lines. A further possible zoomorphic figures(s) has been truncated at the point of the break. The reverse of the strap fitting is plain. The object has been treated since discovery and now has a bronzey patina. There are patches of darker brown, presumably where corrosion was halted. The break edge is worn smooth suggesting damage occurred in antiquity. The strap end has a surviving length of 39.58mm, is 30.18mm wide, 3.56mm thick and weighs 16.96g. See Finds Research Group Datasheet 33, figure 4, number 26 for a close parallel.

Thomas notes that strap ends of this type were popular on the Carolingian continent and in Scandinavia during the 9th and 10th centuries and that popularity continued in southern and south east England into the 11th century.

Class: Thomas Class E, Type 1

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Date from: AD 750
Date to: AD 1100

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 39.58 mm
Width: 30.18 mm
Thickness: 3.56 mm
Weight: 16.96 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Caroline McDonald
Identified by: Caroline McDonald

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Essex (County)
District: Castle Point (District)
To be known as: Canvey Island

Spatial coordinates

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

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Other chance find
Discovery circumstances: Part of a collection discovered over some 30 years
General landuse: Coastland
Specific landuse: Inter-tidal

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: ESS
Created: 14 years ago
Updated: 4 years ago

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