- Museum number
Binding from the corner of a shield, including segmented clamp. The binding has a straight and a concave length meeting at a globular knob. The knob is hollow and seems to have been worked from sheet, not cast. The binding has secured the edge of organics 4mm thick on the curved side, increasing on the straight side from 4mm near the corner to 6mm. The curved end of the binding is broken, but when found it was covered by the segmentary clamp. The impression of the binding can still be seen in the patina on the underside of the clamp.
- Production date
- 250 BC - 150 BC (circa)
Width: 5.90 - 6.60 millimetres (binding)
Diameter: 13.70 millimetres (terminal knob)
Length: 139 millimetres (Curved length with segmentary clamp)
Length: 102 millimetres (Curve)
Length: 124.40 millimetres (straight)
Weight: 22.90 grammes
- Curator's comments
- This object was found in the burial of a man aged 30 to 35 years (for human remains see 1990,0102.28). The man was probably buried around 200 BC. This extended inhumation burial was part of a large Iron Age cemetery at Mill Hill, Deal, Kent (Parfitt 1995, p.18-20, grave 112).
The most unusual object in the grave was a bronze ‘crown’ or ‘head-dress’ (1990,0102.24), engraved with detailed La Tène style decoration. A wooden shield with bronze bindings and fittings (1990,0102.6-23), and an iron sword (1990,0102.1) with copper alloy scabbard (1990,0102.2-5) were also part of the burial assemblage. The shield was the same shape as some of the miniature shields from the Salisbury hoard (see 1998,0401.1-20).
Other objects included bronze scabbard suspension rings (1990,0102.26-27) and a bronze brooch (1990,0102.25). The brooch was discovered near the man’s feet. Perhaps the brooch had been pinned to a cloak folded at his feet. All three of these bronze objects were decorated with applied coral studs. The grave goods were published by Stead (1995, 59-95). The sword is also published by Stead (2006, no.66) and Jope (2000, 278, pl.205:O).
Much has been made of the inclusion of the head-dress in the grave. No other head-dresses from Iron Age Europe have been found in graves. It has been suggested that this object may indicate that the man was a priest or king. This ‘crown’ was perhaps a sign of leadership, but of what kind is unknown – spiritual, military or political. Unlike most modern leaders, his role may have covered all these areas.
Jope, E.M. 2000. Early Celtic Art in the British Isles. Oxford University Press
Parfitt, K. 1995. Iron Age Burials from Mill Hill, Deal. British Museum Press
Stead, I.M. 1995. ‘The Metalwork’ in K. Parfitt (ed.) Iron Age Burials from Mill Hill, Deal. British Museum Press. p.59-111
Stead, I. M. 2006. British Iron Age swords and scabbards. British Museum Press
- On display (G50/dc16)
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number