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wrist-guard

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1975,0901.3

  • Description

    Stone bracer (or 'wristguard') made of Group VI type greenstone; sub-rectangular with slight waisting and slightly concave ends; ends and sides double-bevelled to nearly flat plano-convex section; at either end nine perforations drilled from face with conical profile and completed to hourglass section by less careful cutting from underside, arranged as line of three within convex arc of six to create zigzag effect, each with tightly-fitted sheet-gold cap with projecting top, profile varying from regular dome to uneven 'hammered' profile, no trace of adhesive surviving; ground and highly-polished with some residual criss-cross scratches on underside, transverse zone of higher gloss on centre of face; green schistose.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 2280BC -2030 BC (at 2 sigma (radiocarbon date))
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 106.5 millimetres
    • Width: 71.5 millimetres
    • Width: 66 millimetres (central)
    • Thickness: 5.5 millimetres
    • Weight: 81.5 grammes
  • Curator's comments

    Composition: The Group IV greenstone composition indicates that the source rock may be from the Langdale area of the English Lake District, northwest England and is therefore exotic to the findspot (Woodward and Hunter 2011, 38).

    Description of site: Ring-ditch in cluster recorded by aerial photography on gravel terrace at 20m OD on edge of Welland river valley; formerly arable.

    Circumstances: Ring-ditch excavated by P. Donaldson in 1974 and 1976 in advance of destruction by gravel quarrying; mound largely destroyed by ploughing and stratigraphy dependent upon horizontal sequences.

    Outline sequence: phase 1, shallow backfilled ring-ditch Diam. 9.7m; phase 2, concentric ditch for mound Diam. 16m; phase 3, concentric ditch for mound Diam. 43m with two inner stake circles Diam. 14.4m and 15.9m.
    All burials within inner stake circle: 28 and 34 phase 1; the remainder belong to phases 2 or 3, an intersecting central group (6,22,25,26,27,29, 37,71) some of which cut 28, and 'satellites' (7,24,39,40,67,68).
    Burial 28: adult male inhumation flexed on left with head north-north-east, at base of central grave L.2.2m W.I.4m D.I.85m. Beaker at feet (1975,0901.4), dagger (1975, 0901.1) and toggle (1975,0901.2) at left elbow, bracer (1975,0901.3) partly beneath left hip (face down with detached corner above and face up); charcoal from burnt plank or wooden object dated at 1620 ± 80 bc (HAR-1645) and 1710 ± 60 (BM-1412).

    Dating and Interpretation of grave group: The Barnack burial was radiocarbon dated to c. 2280-2030 BC and is therefore potentially contemporary with the Kelleythorpe bracer (Murgia 2014, 1.1.1). The capping of the perforations with gold on the outer surface occurs in at least two further examples in Britain. These are at Kelleythorpe (Murgia 2014; 1.1.2; Woodward and Hunter 2011, ID 13) and Culduthel, Inverness (Woodward and Hunter 2011, ID 79). It would seem likely that these bracers were never intended to be threaded and worn on the wrist.

    References:
    Kinnes, I.A., 1985, Associates Finds Series: British Bronze Age Metalwork. No.7.3.

    Woodward, A., Hunter, J., 2011, An Exhamination of Prehistoric Stone Bracers from Britain, p.37, 135 (ID 8).

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  • Bibliography

    • Murgia et al 2014 1.1.1 bibliographic details
    • Donaldson 1977 Fig.9.4 bibliographic details
    • Kinnes 1985 No.7.3 bibliographic details
    • Woodward & Hunter 2011 p.37, 135 (ID 8) bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G51/dc6

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1975

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    1975,0901.3

Stone wristguard: sub-rectangular with slight waisting and slightly concave ends; ends and sides double-bevelled to nearly flat plano-convex section; at either end nine perforations drilled from face with conical profile and completed to hourglass section

Stone wristguard: sub-rectangular with slight waisting and slightly concave ends; ends and sides double-bevelled to nearly flat plano-convex section; at either end nine perforations drilled from face with conical profile and completed to hourglass section

Image description

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Object reference number: BCB86764

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