KENT-709B56: hammer or mattock head

Rights Holder: Kent County Council
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Unique ID: KENT-709B56

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

The head of a heavily worn copper-alloy hafted object, probably a hammer or mattock head of uncertain date (see discussion).

Description: The object is roughly rectangular in plan narrow towards one end. The narrow end is thicker and is squarish in cross-section (possibly a bell/face hammer end) while the wider end is thinner and more rectangular in cross section (blade/mattock end?). There is a roughly circular hole through the body of the head likely the eye for hafting the tool to a handle. Dividing the bell/face end from the eye section is a distinct groove creating a very short 'neck' the body of the object is therefore slightly lower than the bell end. Both ends of the object are heavily battered and worn although, the sides (cheek if it is a hammer) have very little wear compared to each end. The narrower end is likely missing a significant amount of its full length judging by how the close the hafting point is to the termination of the narrow end. Unfortunately, it is not possible to say with any certainty if this end continued to get narrowed creating a bladed end like that of a mattock or had a claw or peen like a more medieval-modern hammer. The object is mottled various shades of green, typical of aged copper-alloy

Measurements: 74.36mm long, 35.98mm wide, 23.89mm thick and weight of 320g.

Discussion: The exact identity of this object is uncertain, a hafted but not socketed tool of copper-alloy of relatively large size is unusual. Socketed copper-alloy toys dating to the Bronze Age/early Iron Age are well attested and smaller copper-alloy tools dating to later period for finer working such as jewellery making are also well attested. The rough shape of this object also bares some similarities to Iron tools of late Iron Age and Romano-British tools usually found in iron (Manning 1989). Due to the wear of this object its exact identity and date is uncertain, although as later hammer and mattock type tools are almost always in iron and the form precludes an earlier date a late Iron Age to early Roman date is likely.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: IRON AGE
Subperiod from: Middle
Period from: IRON AGE
Subperiod to: Early
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa 400 BC
Date to: Circa AD 200

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 74.36 mm
Width: 35.98 mm
Thickness: 23.89 mm
Weight: 320 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 11th March 2017

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Jo Ahmet
Identified by: Mr Jo Ahmet

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Essex (County)
District: Braintree (District)
Parish or ward: Little Maplestead (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TL8234
Four figure Latitude: 51.97465982
Four figure longitude: 0.64835117
1:25K map: TL8234
1:10K map: TL83SW
Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: KENT
Created: 6 months ago
Updated: 6 months ago

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