Rights Holder: Hampshire Cultural Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Hampshire Cultural Trust
CC License:

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Unique ID: HAMP-0EE512

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

A middle to late early-medieval (Anglo Saxon) incomplete copper alloy probable disc-headed pin, or perhaps a nummular style brooch - the fixing is missing to the reverse making a more confident identification difficult. The object consists of a copper-alloy circular plate 1.1mm thick depicting a central four-armed cross with a pseudo-inscription (probably imitating runes) around, arranged within two pairs of concentric grooves. To the reverse is a rectangular scar of probably solder. The edge of the plate is worn and a little damaged in places.
The decorated face of the object has a 0.4mm wide groove flanking the edge, within which is rocker-arm decoration. Just inside this groove is a partial additional concentric groove (with no rocker-arm decoration), being only a light incision around roughly one quarter where the inscription sits higher up within its band than the remainder of the inscription (and suggesting that this concentric incision at least was applied after the inscription). The pair of concentric grooved rings around the central cross are both complete, the outermost having additional rocker-arm decoration within it. The cross comprises four arms created by pairs of shallowly-convex opposing grooves of lenticular form, around a central perforation (which does not obviously continue to the reverse). The arm grooves have additional short diagonal grooves along them.
The inscription looks something like the following: + III W .I r I + S/F A. The light incision of the concentric groove runs from the top of the 'r' to just before the first '+'.
The remains of probable solder to the reverse is browny-grey in colour and covers an area 16.5 x 6.8 mm.
The copper alloy is dark green, with lighter areas, and the patina is smooth and shiny. The object measures 27.3mm in diameter, 1.1mm in thickness and weighs 3.01g.
A runic inscription can be seen on the 8th century Malton Pin from North Yorkshire, now in the British Museum collections (ref.2000,0508.1), and also on two examples in the PAS database, LANCUM-EEFFFB and DUR-79B856. These don't show the same scar to the reverse of this find, which is perhaps more similar to that of contemporary brooches, but the design is so similar to these disc-headed pins and there is yet no directly comparable nummular brooch, that the decisino has been taken to call this a probable pin head with the caveat of being a possible nummular brooch. Weetch's Type 2 Aii are pseudo-nummular style brooch and use the reverse motifs of coins as their decoration, dating to c.800-1000. To be noted is the form of cross on this object, which is reminiscent of the 'Jewel cross' seen on the coins of Cnut, Harold and Harthacnut in the early 11th century.

Helen Geake comments, 'Large pinheads and small brooches are notoriously difficult to tell apart when missing the actual pin element; they can both have the pin made separately and attached by solder and/or rivets. ... there isn't anything in Weetch Type 2 [nummular brooches] with the cross made from four ovals (the closest might be no. 223 but even this is pretty distant). On the other hand, the Malton example is a really good parallel' (pers. comm. September 2018).

Find of note status

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

Class: Disc-headed
Inscription: + III W .I r I + S/F A.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Middle
Subperiod to: Late
Date from: Circa AD 700
Date to: Circa AD 1050

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Thickness: 1.1 mm
Weight: 3.01 g
Diameter: 27.3 mm

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Katie Hinds
Identified by: Ms Katie Hinds

Other reference numbers

Other reference: Hampshire Cultural Trust Object Entry Form WINCM 695

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Hampshire (County)
District: Test Valley (District)
Parish or ward: East Dean (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SU2726
Four figure Latitude: 51.03273327
Four figure longitude: -1.61633299
1:25K map: SU2726
1:10K map: SU22NE
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

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: HAMP
Created: 5 months ago
Updated: 5 months ago

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