- Museum number
Stone bracer (or 'wrist-guard') made from Group VI type greenstone; ground and polished to sub-rectangular outline with evidence of striations, concave sides and crescentic section with bevelled edges; at each end pair of funnel-profile circular perforations drilled from back; in each perforation corroded traces of copper or bronze rivet with domed sheet-gold caps.
- Production date
- 2300BC-2000BC (circa)
Length: 127 millimetres
Thickness: 6 millimetres
Width: 28 millimetres (central)
Width: 33 millimetres (terminal)
- 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: Mortimer's barrow C38: at 15m OD on gravel terrace of Driffield Beck valley on arable.
Circumstances: Barrow opened by Lord Londesborough in October 1851 and re-opened by J.R. Mortimer in October 1870 (Londesborough, Lord, 1851. An account of the opening of some tumuli in the East Riding of Yorkshire, ‘Archaeologia’ 34, 252-6; Mortimer, J.R., 1905. ‘Forty Years' Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire.’ London., 271-83); Diam. 18m H. 1.2m, composition not recorded but sited on gravel knoll.
Burial 1: central cist of four side-slabs with paved floor and capstone set at level of old surface, L. 1.2m W. 0.9m D. 0.8m aligned east-west; adult inhumation crouched on left with head east, dagger (1879,1209.1981) at back, Beaker (1879,1209.1984) at feet, bracer (1884,0520.1) on right forearm, beads at neck (1879,1209.1982-3), 'hawk's head' (not preserved) in front of body.
Contextual information: 2a/A1/0/S3
Dating and interpretation of burial group: There are no associated radiocarbon dates with the Kelleythorpe barrow excavations. A detailed consideration of bracer dating through existing radiocarbon dates at other sites as well as typologies in associated material culture and the typology and composition of bracers by Woodward and Hunter (2011, 86-95) indicated that the Kelleythorpe bracer should be placed contemporary with Needham's (2007) Ferry Fryston dagger Type dagger chronology, c. 2200-2000 BC.
Parallels: The capping of the perforations with gold on the outer surface occurs in at least two further examples in Britain. These are at Barnack, Cambridgeshire (Murgia 2014; 1.1.1; Woodward and Hunter 2011, ID 8) 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.
Woodward, A., Hunter, J., 2011, An Exhamination of Prehistoric Stone Bracers from Britain, p.38, 138 (ID 13).
Kinnes, I.A., 1985, Associates Finds Series: British Bronze Age Metalwork. No.11.3
- On display (G51/dc6)
- Exhibition history
2018-2019 Oct-Apr, Wiltshire, Stonehenge Visitor Centre, Making New Worlds
1985 1 Aug-13 Oct, Edinburgh, National Museum of Scotland, Symbols of Power at the Time of Stonehenge
- The gold caps are dented.
- Acquisition notes
- Purchased by the British Museum at the sale of the Londesborough Collection (Sotheby's 26 May 1884).
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number