HAMP-4B38A6: Middle Bronze Age ornament hoard

Rights Holder: Hampshire Cultural Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Hampshire Cultural Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Hampshire Cultural Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Hampshire Cultural Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Hampshire Cultural Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Hampshire Cultural Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Hampshire Cultural Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Hampshire Cultural Trust
CC License:

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Unique ID: HAMP-4B38A6

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

A Middle Bronze Age ornament hoard, consisting of two Liss arm rings (one in three pieces), an unlooped palstave axe, a quoit-headed pin (in three pieces), a knife/ razor fragment and a fragment of spear tip. The two smaller fragments of arm ring were found c. 3 foot from the rest of the hoard, which was in situ; the two fragments have presumably been moved by the plough.

1) Complete Liss type arm-ring, measuring 83.7mm in diameter (internal diameter 62.1mm), 12.2mm in height and weighing 174g (to the nearest 2g). It is sub-circular/ oval in cross-section (having a width of c.11mm) with an undecorated inside surface. This edge retains much of the original patina which has a high shine, is dark green in colour and very smooth. Much of the rest of the surface is pitter with areas (of varying sizes) of much lighter green corrosion.
The top, bottom and outside surface of the ring has incised linear decoration. Along the top and bottom is a concentric ring of 'herringbone' decoration, comprising integrally stacked chevrons or V-shapes. These chevrons face in an opposite direction along the top to the bottom. The outside surface decoration can be divided into two sections, each occupying half of the arm-ring.
One section can be separated into three areas of decoration, transverse (and ever-so-slightly diagonal) linear incised lines at either end with a middle section of three-and-a half longitudinal lines of herringbone (incised chevron) decoration, the half line being a line of half-chevrons. The two end sections of transverse incised lines are each divided into four sections of roughly equal size (comprising c.10 transverse lines each, but ranging between 8 and 11 lines in some sections). The central divider is a pair of incised herringbone lines, pointing in the same direction (either outwards or inwards) on each face. The remaining two dividers are of 'ladder' decoration, a vertical section with short transverse lines between.
The second section extends from the transverse linear decoration (mentioned above) in the form of a group of larger and closely integrally-stacked chevrons, twenty one side and eighteen on the other. Between is a short zig-zag of four diagonal groups of incised lines in opposing directions (between 12 and 16 lines in each group).

2) Complete Liss type arm-ring, in three pieces. It measures 84.8mm in diameter (internal diameter 63.0mm), 12.1mm in height and weighs 182.81g. It is oval in cross-section (with a width of 10.9mm) and like no.1 is not decorated on the inside surface. This retains a dark brown, high-shine, smooth patina but has many small patches of active corrosion. Likewise the rest of the surface and the broken ends of the object have a large amount of light green corrosion. The decoration appears to take identical form to 1), each half being treated in the same way with similar numbers of incised lines. The three-and-a-half lines of additional herringbone and the ladder decoration also appear in the same places; there is no decorative difference. The surface is however rather obscured by the extensive corrosion.

3) Incomplete quoit-headed pin, in three pieces, including most of the ring-shaped head and two sections of the shank; it is not clear whether any of these pieces join with each other. Its reconstructed length is 241.2mm. The probable tip of the shank is a little bent and the head incomplete, suggesting an estimated original length for these three pieces together is c.250mm. The diameter of the head of the pin is 73.5mm (internal 53.4mm) and it is max.2.1mm thick. The pin shank measures from c.4-3mm in diameter and retains a very shiny, smooth, dark green patina; the head retains a mostly shiny, smooth dark green and coppery-coloured patina but with numerous small patches of light green corrosion. The three pieces weigh 31.33g collectively.
The head consists of a rim 1.6mm thick with a raised rim to either side, 2.1mm tall. Within the shallower area is an incised zig-zag decoration, with the alternate resulting triangles being filled with incised diagonals, parallel to the far-left edge (with the head place uppermost and shank extending downwards). The decorated triangles have their wider end at the outside edge and the undecorated triangles at the inside edge. There are 29 'pairs' of triangles on one side and 22 on the other. The edge of the ring widens from c.8mm where the shanks extends to 11.7mm at the furthest break and 9.9mm at the nearer break; all breaks are old.
The shank extends from the narrowest part of the ring, from a rectangular panel of incised line decoration. On one side this takes the form of a herringbone motif (point towards the internal edge) while the other has crossed diagonal lines extending from either side of the ring and extending into the top of the shank. The shank extends for c.13mm before the old break, where it has an oval cross-section and measures 4.3x3.8mm.
Both sections of shank are circular in cross-section. One narrows from 4.3mm to 3.8mm over 83.6mm while the other narrows from 3.7mm to 3.1mm, at which point much of the external surface of the metal is lost and a wire projection extends 1.8mm in diameter. This section is 74.9mm long.

4) Unlooped palstave belonging to the Norman type. These imports from across the Channel occur in other hoards near Fareham. It measures 154mm in length, 40.9mm wide at the cutting edge, 25.1mm wide and 29.8mm thick at the stop ridge, and weighs 340g (to the nearest 2g). The axehead is complete with some damage to the cutting edge. Where the original patina is visible, it is a silvery-copper colour, shiny and smooth. However the blade and butt end in particular have smaller and larger patches of active light green corrosion.
The blade of the palstave is a long isoceles triangle in shape with expanding sides and a curved cutting edge (where not damaged). In profile the blade is triangular with the widest section being below the stop ridge. Both faces have 'trident decoration' in the form of a triangular- or shield-shaped depression below the stop ridge with a vertical central rib extending from the stop ridge. This central ridge does not extend beyond the shield'.
The butt-end of the axehead is rectangular in shape and triangular in profile. On both faces, the flanges decrease in height from the stop ridge to the butt end.

5) An incomplete blade with no original edges surviving, perhaps from a knife or razor. It measures 28.7mm in incomplete length, 18.1mm in max.width, 2.6mm in max.thickness and weighs 5.09g. The object has a wide central mid-rib, extending in a Y-shape from the wider end (18.1mm wide and max.1.6mm thick) to the narrower end (12.8mm wide and 2.6mm thick). The cross-section at the narrower end is lenticular while it is rather flatter and more rectangular at the wider end. The object has a smooth, shiny, blue-green patina and the breaks, while jagged, are perhaps recentish.

6) A fragment of spearhead blade, measuring 15.9mm in length, max.12.6mm wide, 6.1mm in thickness and weighing 3.05g. It has a greyish-brown patina, silvery in places, smooth and lightly pitted. The object has a pronounced lozengiform cross-section with incurved long edges.


With special thanks to Brenan O'Connor for recognising the palstave as a Norman type.

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Hampshire Cultural Trust
Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2018T222


Broad period: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod from: Middle
Period from: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod to: Middle
Period to: BRONZE AGE

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 6

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 4th April 2018 - Wednesday 4th April 2018

Personal details

This information is restricted for your access level.

Other reference numbers

Other reference: Hampshire Cultural Trust Object Entry Form WINCM 665
Treasure case number: 2018T222

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Hampshire (County)
District: Fareham (District)
Parish or ward: Portchester West (District Ward)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SU6005
Four figure Latitude: 50.84142389
Four figure longitude: -1.14921757
1:25K map: SU6005
1:10K map: SU60NW
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: Hampshire Cultural Trust
General landuse: Other

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Audit data

Recording Institution: HAMP
Created: 4 years ago
Updated: 2 years ago

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