BERK-06ED81: Early-medieval brooch: Radiate-head brooch

Rights Holder: Oxfordshire County Council
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Unique ID: BERK-06ED81

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

An incomplete cast copper alloy Early-Medieval radiate-headed brooch, dating to the 6th century AD. Only the head plate and a fragment of the bow remains. The head plate is semi-circular with seven equidistant, integral projections / tabs on the outside edge. Tabs one, four and seven are sub-rectangular and solid where as the intervening tabes are triangular with circular apertures within and moulded, rounded cells on the peaks - these are hollow but retain traces of a white substance, possibly a paste or a coral insert. All of the tabs have moulded horizontal and/or vertical linear decoration. The centre of the head is bounded by a riased semi-circular rib within which is a decorative panel of geometric vertical and horizontal lines. The remaining section of the bow is ribbed on the outer edges with a third rib arranged centrally. The reverse of the head plate has two integral, vertical, perforated lugs with traces of the iron pin hinge.

The brooch is an Early Medieval radiate-headed brooch however its size sets it apart, being similar in size to Great Square Headed brooches. Radiate head brooches were manufactured by the Franks on the Continent although there is evidence for this type of brooch also being manufactured in Kent and possibly Oxfordshire (MacGregor and Bolick, 1993:147), where this example is from. These type of brooches are spread from the Isle of Wight (IOW-B52767) to Yorkshire (YORYM-2A90CB). This type of radiate-headed brooch is dated the first half of the sixth century AD by Werner (1961), and to Kentish Phase III (530 to 570AD) by Parfitt and Brugmann (1995, 43, 105 and Table 11). This is the first example with seven tabs recorded on the database, and indeed the first of this design and size.

MacGregor, A. and Bolick, E., 1993 A Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non-Ferrous Metals) British Archaeological Reports British Series 230: Oxford.


The finder has kindly donated this object to Oxfordshire County Museums Service

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: County / local importance

Class: Radiate-headed

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Donated to a museum


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Subperiod to: Early
Date from: Circa AD 500
Date to: Circa AD 600

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 48 mm
Width: 63.1 mm
Thickness: 2.9 mm
Weight: 25.6 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 4th March 2018

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: OXPAS2018.192

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Cast
Decoration style: Linear
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Oxfordshire (County)
District: West Oxfordshire (District)
Parish or ward: Curbridge (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SP3208
Four figure Latitude: 51.76976655
Four figure longitude: -1.53766085
1:25K map: SP3208
1:10K map: SP30NW
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: BERK
Created: About one year ago
Updated: 12 months ago

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