CAM-6A8FE8: Early-Medieval Strap-end

Rights Holder: Cambridgeshire County Council
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Unique ID: CAM-6A8FE8

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

An Early-Medieval copper-alloy strap-end with niello inlay decoration. This strap-end is a Thomas Class A, Type 1 and weighs 3.34g. The artefact has a length of 30.0mm and maximum width of 10.1mm.

The en-facing animal head terminal is subtle and accounts for 9.2mm of the total length. The main decorative field has a straight transverse edge at the back of the animal head terminal zone. The edges, defined by a shallow narrow incised line, run approximately parallel to the slightly convex curved edges of the strap-end. The upper end, towards the split end, has a concave curve which leaves a semi-circular end field. The central field is filled with an unclear curvilinear design, possibly of Trewhiddle style, that includes the use of niello inlay. One short length, 1.7mm, of niello is missing from the recessed line that it would have originally filled. The rest survives in good condition. The two edges of the strap-end, to either side of the decorative central field, is decorated with shallow transverse incised lines which are set 1.1mm apart. These lines start at the side of the base of the central decorative field and continue up to the end of the split end. The field at the split end is filled with decoration but it is not clear enough to describe.

The top front edge of the split appears to have a subtle double convex curve with central 'V' shaped dip. The top reverse edge appears to be much straighter. The straight edge and very subtle shaped top edges are likely to be the result of design however, this may have also been exaggerated by wear. The split end extends down through the strap-end for a length of c.10.5mm. The split is mostly filled with dried mud and this contributes to the measured weight of the object. It is uncertain whether any rivet/s survive. If they do, they are hidden by the presence of the mud. The split end has a thickness of 3.7mm and c.1.2mm of this is the split between the front and reverse. The animal head terminal has a thickness of 1.7mm.

The reverse surface of the artefact is undecorated. However, there are two shallow irregular shaped patches, one at either end of the reverse surface. It is uncertain what these patches are. While it may be the remains of a surface coating or the final remains of the original surface it seems more likely to be a grown concreted conglomeration of substances. These substances are likely to include soil particles, corrosion products and other chemicals present in the post-depositional environment. Thus forming something along the lines of a tartar-plaque that can be found concreted to teeth. Close observation of the artefact shows that this product is also present in the interstices of the front surface.

See Thomas, G., 2003 Late Anglo-Saxon and Viking-age Strap-Ends 750-1100: Part I Lincolnshire: Finds Research Group AD 700-1700.

Class: Thomas Class A
Sub class: Type 1.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 800
Date to: Circa AD 900

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 30 mm
Width: 10.1 mm
Thickness: 3.7 mm
Weight: 3.34 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 15th April 2018 - Sunday 15th April 2018

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Helen Fowler
Identified by: Ms Helen Fowler
Secondary identifier: Dr Helen Geake

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Complete
Surface Treatment: Inlaid with niello

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Hertfordshire (County)
District: North Hertfordshire (District)
Parish or ward: Hinxworth (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TL2340
Four figure Latitude: 52.04475764
Four figure longitude: -0.20792211
1:25K map: TL2340
1:10K map: TL24SW
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
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: CAM
Created: 6 months ago
Updated: 3 months ago

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