BERK-40849E: Iron Age pin: Ring-headed pin

Rights Holder: Oxfordshire County Council
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Unique ID: BERK-40849E

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

A complete cast copper-alloy ring headed swan-neck pin of early Iron Age date, probably c. 800-600 BC. The pin is large and is formed from a single rod of copper alloy, which has been bent to form a penannular ring at the head (inner diameter of 18.6 mm, external diameter of 27.9 mm). There is a swan's neck bend beneath to head, then the rod tapers to a point. The head of the pin is decorated with cast mouldings of squared pellets either side of a pronounced mid-rib which runs on the upper, outer section of the penannular loop. The terminal of the loop has three or four short steps or notches before its end.

This is an unusual form of pin. Comparable examples include a small number from Oxfordshire and recorded on this database (see for example BERK-4045E7 from Chalgrove, BERK-2DCD1A from Shipton-under-Wychwood and BERK-ACA735 from Lyford). Most excavated examples of ring-headed pins (and their predecessors, 'swan's neck' pins) originate from settlement sites and waterside contexts, and none come from hoards. Dunning (1934, 274) notes that the utilisation of notched decoration on the heads of these objects is a reasonably common feature. Unfortunately the 'swan's neck' has no firm chronological significance and these pins were in use from the early Iron Age to the beginning of the late Iron Age. There are concentrations of certain variants of these pins in East Anglia and Wessex. An old but pertinent reading reference is Dunning, G. (1934). 'The swan's neck and ring-headed pins of the early Iron Age in Britain,' The Archaeological Journal XCI, pp. 269-95. There is also an unpublished study by a German student (written in German) - Becker, K. (2000), 'Eisenzeitliche Ringkopfnadeln in Grossbitannien und Ireland', which provides an updated look at Dunning and questions his dating (Taken from record BERK-4045E7, authored by C. Burrell and J. Joy).

Class: Ring-headed
Sub class: Swan-neck

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: 92.65 mm
Weight: 12 g
Diameter: 27.9 mm

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Anni Byard
Identified by: Miss Anni Byard

Other reference numbers

Other reference: 2017.086

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Oxfordshire (County)
District: Vale of White Horse (District)
Parish or ward: Kingston Bagpuize with Southmoor (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SU3995
Four figure Latitude: 51.65244492
Four figure longitude: -1.43767284
1:25K map: SU3995
1:10K map: SU39NE
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: BERK
Created: About one year ago
Updated: About one year ago

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