Gift of Hogg the Builders of York
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.