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Mirror from the chariot burial at Wetwang

Mirror in its current state

  • Mirror in the grave

    Mirror in the grave

  • Preparing to lift the mirror

    Preparing to lift the mirror

  • Mirror being moved

    Mirror being moved

 

Gift of Hogg the Builders of York

P&EE 2001.4-1.19

Prehistory and Europe

    Mirror from the chariot burial at Wetwang

    Iron Age, around 300 BC
    East Yorkshire, England

    This iron mirror was found resting against the woman's ankles in the grave. Careful cleaning has revealed well over a hundred tiny blue glass beads, so small that they could only have been threaded on to horse hairs, as well as metal and coral beads. Were the beads from a tassel at the end of the handle, or perhaps from a bag in which the mirror was kept? As the mirror decayed, impressions formed in the rust of some cloth where it touched the mirror.

    Why was the mirror in the grave? Was it an important personal object that the woman used in life? Did the mirror have a special religious or magical role?. These are questions that we may never be able to fully answer.

    To find out more and see a reconstruction of the chariot, see the 'Wetwang Chariot Burial' tour.

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