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And so I reach the final of my four counties: Somerset. Again, it is a diverse environment, some parts flooding heavily, contrasted by upland areas which served as centres for barrow cemeteries and monuments, as well as embanked settlements that acted as precursors for hillforts. Inevitably the character of metalwork recovered through the PAS differs from the previous counties presented: there’s less gold than Dorset, fewer ingots than Devon, more spearheads than Cornwall. (more…)
Cornwall. It’s a weird and wonderful place, and not quite like anywhere else I’ve ever been, ranging from harsh, barren moorlands to stunning coastal scenes. Sitting at the tip of the South West peninsula, it’s the first of the counties in my blog series on the PAS material from my study region. (more…)
Believe it or not, two years into my research, I still haven’t finished my data collection. The spread of objects across the South West has proven far more troublesome than even I anticipated. Nonetheless, I persevere and my latest venture took me to the beautiful tiny city of Wells. (more…)
On Thursday, I got to do one of the things I’ve been most excited to do – I got to stick haft my barbed spearheads. These spearheads are based on the destroyed Bloody Pool hoard making them an incredibly suitable case study to replicate and experiment with. I have a special place in my heart for spearheads – more so than swords and axes! (more…)
In 2009, a Late Bronze Age hoard was found while metal-detecting in a field in Long Bredy, which was promptly reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme (Treasure No. 2009 T649). This hoard consists of a three deliberately broken sword fragments, a late pegged spearhead, a socketed gouge and a bifid razor and dates to the Ewart Park phase (c.1000-800 BC). It is currently held at Dorchester County Museum and I recently had the chance to study it and gain an insight into a hoard that is quite unusual for the area. (more…)
Legend has it that there was once a fierce battle between Viking marauders and the native population somewhere in south-east Dartmoor. It raged on for hours and hours; swords and shields smashed against each other in a scene worthy of Peter Jackson, and much blood was spilled on both sides with hundreds of people left slain. Eventually, however, the natives were victorious, forcing the Vikings to flee back to their longships. There is a “pool”, not much more than a marsh now, said to mark the spot of this battle, from which one might still hear the sounds of the dead and at times it will turn red with the memory of their blood. From this pool in 1854, they retrieved a set of bronze spears… (more…)