An iron sword with traces of an original organic scabbard preserved as an impression on the conglomerate of river pebbles that had encrusted the sword. Iron sword blade; two boxes of iron sheath fragments; two pieces of decorated iron sheath; one plaster cast of sheath decoration; three rubber impressions of sheath decoration. The sword comprises a substantial length of blade, lacking the tip and the whole of the tang. It is corroded, especially along the edges, but has a fair amount of original surface. The piece is 605 mm long, of which the blade is 592 mm and would have been perhaps 15 mm longer to the tip. It is now 50 mm wide at the top, but has probably lost 1mm to corrosion on one edge. There is a median ridge, and the blade tapers from about 450 mm to a long point. The shoulders slope, and the tang is missing. Mineral preserved organics on top of the scabbard mouth show that the guard had been made of horn (identified by Fleure Shearman). There is no metal hilt end. With the sword removed the two halves of the encasing conglomerate each retained the mould of the upper part of a scabbard plate, in part covered by the metallic remains of the plate. The lower part of the scabbard, including the chape, had not survived. The two halves of the case are now broken into several joining pieces. The encasing of the front plate is 408 mm long and in ten pieces. The top of the front plate, viewed from the inside, was covered by a layer of wood, with slight remains of a sheet of iron on top of it. Half of the wood (the right half) was carefully removed by Simon Dove to reveal the mouth of the scabbard. The entire front plate had been divided into panels. At the top a mouth-panel, campanulate above and straight below (Panel 1). Then Panel 2, decorated; Panel 3, bordered but otherwise undecorated; Panel 4, decorated; and Panel 5, like 3, bordered. Panel 1: The right half of the impression has been revealed, extending slightly beyond the centre, and is assumed to be half of a symmetrical design. The central motif is a three leafed palmette, inverted. Its side leaves are perhaps scrolls, their stems linked, forming an arc encompassing the palmette. A pair of elongated lobes or swags spring symmetrically from the central stem. The corners of the mouth panel would each have had two interlocking half palmettes, set on their sides, but only one half of the panel is exposed. The inner half-palmette, pointing inwards, is apparently half of a seven leafed palmette represented by three flanking leaves and then a scroll whose stem curves upwards to a point, meeting the border of the panel and enclosing the motif. The outer half-palmette, in the corner and pointing outwards, is also represented by three leaves, but instead of a scroll it is within a triangular frame. Each half-palmette has rows of punched dots between the leaves and there is another line of dots between the two. Panel 2 again has only the right half exposed of a presumed symmetrical design. It must have had two confronted semi-circular panels, the visible one with a three-lobed palmette. In each of the fan-shaped fields on either side of the central lobe are two interlocking half-palmettes, detailed with spines, and with an off-shoot occupying the third corner (the stem of the fan). These motifs are either engraved or chased and are presumably repeated in the left half. Each of the two triangular fields between the semi-circles has three lobes flanking a central triangle. These lobes, and the lobes of the palmette in the semicircle, are raised in the impression but in the original would have been perforations allowing the wood backing to be seen as a contrasting and perhap
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