- Museum number
A complete iron sword, slightly bent at two places in the middle and not well preserved between them, but elsewhere much of the original surface survives. It is 762 mm long, of which the blade is perhaps 625 mm (at least 622 mm, the shoulders are slightly damaged). The blade is flat, 48.5 mm wide at the top, and there is no real taper until about 9.5 mm from the tip, thereafter it curves in to a sharp point. There is a marked groove 5-6 mm from each edge on each face, and a linking groove at the top on one side, possibly also on the other where it is obscured by corrosion. There are the impressions of two stamps, their tops about 80 mm and 107 mm from the top of the blade. Each impression is covered with a thin brass foil, and the stamp seems to represent a horned animal with bifurcating tail. The tang is rectangular in section, and very wide at the bottom above damaged but definitely sloping shoulders. Its top is slightly burred, and below it is a mobile and remarkably well-preserved rectangular copper alloy washer.
- Production date
- 320 BC - 120 BC (circa)
Length: 625 millimetres (blade; ?)
Length: 765 millimetres
Weight: 618 grammes
Thickness: 6.70 millimetres (tang)
Thickness: 7.30 millimetres (top of blade)
Width: 48.50 millimetres (top of blade)
- Curator's comments
For the analysis of the brass foils, see p. 123 and Craddock et al. 2004, where one is illustrated in colour. The sword was purchased from G.F. Lawrence and stored with the medieval antiquities at the British Museum. Kendrick drew it to Lethbridge's attention when Lethbridge was publishing the West Row sword (University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge, 1931.343); Lethbridge dated it La Tène despite the fact that he thought the West Row sword was Saxon (Lethbridge and O'Reilly 1932: 65n.1). It was moved to the Department of Prehistoric and Romano-British Antiquities in 1984. James and Rigby 1997:41, illus. 46 (in colour).
La Tène II swords had a less tapered blade than La Tène I examples. Chapes were shaped to fit more closely around the end of sword scabbards.
- On display (G50/dc10)
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number