- Museum number
- Series: Castle Newe armlets
Massive cast copper alloy armlet with glass 'enamel' inlay. The enamelled roundel was made separately and fixed in place with iron discs. This object is one of a pair, the other is 1946,0402.1.
- Production date
- 50 - 200 (circa)
Diameter: 142.50 millimetres (external, max)
Diameter: 121 millimetres (internal)
Diameter: 114.10 millimetres (terminal 1)
Diameter: 110.70 millimetres (terminal 2)
Weight: 1673 grammes
Thickness: 10 millimetres (cross-section)
- Curator's comments
- This is one of a pair of massive armlets, similar to those from Pitkelloney, also in the British Museum (1838,0714.3 a and b). Only 21 of this type have been found, 20 of them in north-eastern Scotland. This suggests that this was a special type of object that was only made and worn by people in this part of Britain. Although they are usually called Iron Age armlets, most were probably made between AD 43 and 200. By this time England and southern Scotland were part of the Roman Empire; north-eastern Scotland was never fully conquered. The one armlet not found in Scotland was found in Ireland. It was probably made in north-eastern Scotland, and reached Ireland perhaps as a gift, or on the arm of a Scottish woman or man. As these armlets are so heavy, it has also been suggested that they might have been used to adorn wooden statues of ancestors or deities.
The armlet was made with great skill: cast in its finished form, rather than being cast flat and then twisted to form the hoop. The circular terminals would originally have contained separate discs ornamented with an enamelled design in red and yellow. Only one of these discs now remains on armlet 1946,0402.2. Neither disc remains on 1946,0402.1.
The armlets were found in 1854 over the entrance to a souterrain (a covered stone-lined cellar) belonging to a settlement. They may have been accidentally lost by people living on the settlement, hidden for safe-keeping, or placed there as a ritual offering.
- On display (G50/dc30)
- Exhibition history
2016 11 Mar- 25 Sep, Edinburgh, National Museum of Scotland, Celts.
1970 15 Oct-22 Nov, London, Hayward Gallery, Early Celtic Art
1970 22 Aug-12 Sep, Edinburgh, Royal Scottish Museum, Early Celtic Art
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number