NMGW-623A54: Bronze Age dagger

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:

Image use policy

Our images can be used under a CC BY attribution licence (unless stated otherwise).


Unique ID: NMGW-623A54

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Early Bronze Age bronze Wessex dagger of Camerton-Snowshill Series (following Gerloff 1975) or Series 5D (following Needham 2015), and of Needham's (1996) Period 4-5, probably dating from c. 1600 to 1400BC

The dagger is incomplete, missing the hilt and is slightly distorted (with a surviving length of 112.1mm and a weight of 31.5g). The damaged butt is now of indeterminate form (with a maximum surviving width of 30.7mm and a thickness of 0.8mm) but there is the remains of a rivet hole or notch at the apex of the centre (of approximately 5.3mm diameter). The dagger thickens at its centre to form a prominent, rounded midrib (reaching a maximum thickness of 6.2mm, 30mm from the damaged butt), which narrows and becomes more angular towards the tip. The dagger is decorated with two prominent grooves, beginning at the butt and converging along the midrib (approximately 27mm from the tip). There is the suggestion of a third, outer groove at the butt, which goes on to define the edge of the midrib and start of the blade and continues to the tip. There is no evidence for punched-dot pointillé decoration on the dagger. The blade is flat sectioned (0.6mm - 1.2mm thick) and narrows slightly towards the tip (with a width of 4.5mm near the butt and 2mm near the tip). The original blade edge has largely been lost and the edge is near-straight and gradually convergent to the tip. There are no sharpening striations discernible on the small areas of surviving surface preserved along the blade. The dagger has received a blow to one face at its midpoint, probably in antiquity and resulting in slight distortion and surface damage, comprising a short diagonal groove on the midrib (approximately 2mm long and 0.7mm wide) and stress lines evident on the surface. The surface has a dark-brown patina with areas of pale brown corrosion with patches of bright-green surface loss. The patina may be preserved with an omega-like mark on one face, possibly suggesting the remains of a hilt.


The fragmentary condition of the dagger butt makes precise typological identification difficult. The central rivet hole or notch arrangement, characteristic of the Camerton Type, as defined by Gerloff (1975, pp 104) . Camerton-Snowshill daggers are generally deposited within burials with a largely Wiltshire and Dorset distribution and have a date range that is believed to span the Early to Middle Bronze Age transition, dated to c. 1600 - 1400. The wetland context for this findspot is unlikely to suggest that it accompanied a burial. In Wales the dagger can be paralleled with an example recovered from Ystradyfodwg (Savory, 1980, pp 132, no. 335) , on the border of Glyncorrwg, Neath-Port Talbot and Treorchy, Rhondda Cynon Taff. A similar fragmentary dagger with a slightly broader butt and also of Camerton - Snowshill Series was reported to PAS and recovered from approximately 4Km to the south.

Needham (2015) has recently presented a revised classification and this falls within his Series 5D.

Find of note status

This has been noted as an interesting find by the recorder.

Class: Camerton-Snowshill (Series 5D)

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Private
Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod from: Early
Period from: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod to: Middle
Period to: BRONZE AGE
Date from: Circa 1600 BC
Date to: Circa 1400 BC

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 112.1 mm
Width: 30.7 mm
Thickness: 6.2 mm
Weight: 31.5 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Matthew Knight
Identified by: Mr Mark Lodwick
Secondary identifier: Mr Matthew Knight

Other reference numbers

Other reference: NMWPA 2014.256.1

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: Wales (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: the Vale of Glamorgan (Unitary Authority)
District: the Vale of Glamorgan (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Penllyn (Community)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SS9877
Four figure Latitude: 51.48272549
Four figure longitude: -3.47030002
1:25K map: SS9877
1:10K map: SS97NE
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: Private

References cited

Similar objects

Find number: NMGW-6216A4
Object type: DAGGER
Broadperiod: BRONZE AGE
Early Bronze Age bronze ogival dagger of Camerton-Snowshill Type (following Gerloff 1975), or Series 5D (following Needham 2015) and of Needh…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: LANCUM-93130B
Object type: DAGGER
Broadperiod: BRONZE AGE
An incomplete cast copper alloy dagger dating from the Early Bronze Age, that is c.1700-c.1500BC. The dagger is a Camerton-Snowshill type. In…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Find number: LVPL-F76934
Object type: DAGGER
Broadperiod: BRONZE AGE
An incomplete and damaged copper alloy dagger dating from the Early Bronze Age (c. 1700-c. 1500 BC). It is probably of Camerton-Snowshill typ…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

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

Other formats: this page is available as qrcode json xml geojson pdf rdf representations.