SWYOR-9C315A: Early Medieval hanging bowl

Rights Holder: West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service
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Unique ID: SWYOR-9C315A

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

Part of an Early Medieval hanging bowl dating from about AD 500 - 700. Part of the rim and upper half survives in several pieces, and two of the escutcheons and their attached annular loops.

The curvature of the largest surviving piece suggests a rim diameter of about 200mm. The rim is made from sheet which curves inwards to form a wide concave gulley immediately below the rim, and is then slightly everted and thickened a little at the rim forming an angled top. The thickened part of the rim is about 2.6mm thick. About 60% of the rim survives, in four pieces.

The wall of the vessel only survives as far down as the bottom of the escutcheons, and is in nine pieces with many cracks. There is one small area of modern damage where the patina is missing. Otherwise, the wall of the vessel has a very smooth blue green patina with much of the original surface surviving, as well as some areas which are rough but patinated. The wall is about 0.7mm thick.

The largest piece of vessel wall is 170mm long, 56mm wide and 2.6mm thick. it has the scar from the separate escutcheon. The next largest piece has the other escutcheon attached. It is 125mm long, 56mm wide and 13.8mm thick across the hooked fitting. There is another large piece of wall, 83.8mm long, 56mm wide and 2.2mm thick at the rim. There are six smaller pieces of rim and wall; two of which clearly join to the larger pieces. There is also the detached escutcheon and ring, as well as a detached rivet.

The two hooked escutcheons are matching but not identical. On both, the main plate is drop-shaped with a fan shaped knop at the pointed end and a curved hook at the rounded end which also has fairly angular shoulders. Both elements are integral to the plate, which has outwardly bevelled sides resulting in a concave reverse. The centre part of the plate (broadly triangular) is raised. The hook terminates in a zoomorphic head, probably a bird, with moulded oval bulbous eyes, each with a punched indentation in the centre, The head also has a pointed beak. The upper neck is D shaped in cross section and in plain. The lower neck has a sub-circular panel at the base, and is stepped above the rest of the escutcheon. The lower neck is decorated with a recessed panel containing a zigzag line in relief on the neck, and a four petelled flower in relief on the circular base. The recess is keyed for enamel, and some enamel, now a dark red colour, survives. The raised panel on the plate also contains a design in relief surrounded by traces of similar enamel. The design is a hollow teardrop shape at the base, flanked by a downward pointing solid leaf (pointed oval) on each side, and extending upwards to a solid lozenge shape. The lozenge is enclosed by a pelta which arches over the top, and terminates in a scroll at each end, the scroll positioned between the lozenge and the leaves. One one escutcheon there is a recessed dot in the terminal of each scroll, and in the curve near it. On both escutcheons, the fanned tail contains a pointed oval in relief joining the base of the triangular plate to a ring of raised metal round a copper alloy rivet. The field is filled with more enamel matching the rest. The bevelled sides of the plate are plain. There is a rivet hole in each shoulder.

One escutcheon remains in situ, riveted to the wall of the vessel with three copper alloy rivets. The shoulders of the escutecheon are just below the concave groove under the rim. The bird head curves over the rim, close to, but not touching the vessel wall. The complete escutcheon is 52mm long, and 25.6mm wide. The other escutcheon is detached and incomplete. The zoomorphic head is missing and the break is not patinated. Only the rivet in the fan tail survives. Rivet holes in the largest piece of vessel wall, and an outline of the mount indicate where it was attached. The incomplete escutcheon is 45.5mm long, 26.2mm wide and 6.2mm thick.

Attached round the neck of the in situ escutcheon is an annular ring of copper alloy. A matching ring from the other escutcheon survives. It is 19.9mm diameter, 13mm internal diameter, 3.7mm wide and 3.2mm thick. It is a rounded D-shape in cross section.

One separate copper alloy rivet was also recovered. It is circular in section with slightly thickened ends. It is 4.7mm long and 1.8mm diameter.

Compare YORYM-975799 and WMID-6E17E0. The latter includes a discussion about how hanging bowls are found almost exclusively in early Anglo-Saxon graves, and Geake (1999) argues that all graves containing hanging bowls should be dated to the seventh century.

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: Regional importance

Class: Hanging bowl

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Skipton Museum
Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by a museum - not a Treasure case


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Subperiod to: Early
Ascribed Culture: Anglo-Saxon
Date from: Circa AD 500
Date to: Circa AD 700

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 25th April 2018 - Wednesday 25th April 2018

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Amy Downes
Identified by: Ms Amy Downes

Other reference numbers

Other reference: PAS form number 3149

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete
Surface Treatment: Inlaid with enamel

Spatial metadata

Region: Yorkshire and the Humber (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: North Yorkshire (County)
District: Craven (District)
Parish or ward: Stirton with Thorlby (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SD9554
Four figure Latitude: 53.9820308
Four figure longitude: -2.07773199
1:25K map: SD9554
1:10K map: SD95SE
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: Skipton Museum
General landuse: Grassland, Heathland

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SWYOR
Created: About one year ago
Updated: 5 months ago

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