- Museum number
Iron socketed spear butt, possibly a pastiche. The socket would have fitted a shaft about 21 mm diameter, and there are wood traces inside.
Length: 75 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Stead and Rigby 1999
This object is not what it seems to be, as Charpy and Rapin (Charpy, J.-J., and Roualet, P., 1991, ‘Les Celtes en Champagne’ (exh. cat., Epernay, 23/6 - 3/11/1991),15, pl. 2) have observed. X-rays show that there are two objects, an iron shank (? nail) inserted in a tapering socket to create a point. The length of the tapering socket suggests that it may have been taken from a spearhead, but Morel describes a spear-butt in the grave and perhaps he repaired it for exhibition purposes. The pastiche must have been created between the excavation in 1873 and the first illustration of this object in 1875.
Spear-butts are iron ferrules attached to the other end of the shaft from the spearhead. Long narrow ferrules found in some Hallstatt D and La Tène I graves are sometimes classified as spear-butts and sometimes as the points of boar spears. There are no examples in the Morel Collection, but see Les Jogasses graves 53, 58 and 67; Quilly graves 2 and 10; Villeneuve-Renneville graves 53 and 66; Mont Troté grave 154; and Les Rouliers grave 67a.
Undoubted spear-butts occur in La Tène Ic and La Tène II contexts, and they are of two types:
1. Short pointed ferrule with a socket similar in diameter to that on a spearhead. There are examples in good grave groups at Les Rouliers grave 20 and Fère-Champenoise 'Faubourg de Connantre' graves 56 and 58, and in each case it seems that the spear's shaft had been broken in two before deposition in the grave. See also Gournay-sur-Aronde (Brunaux, J.-L., and Rapin, A., 1988, ‘Gournay II: boucliers et lances, dépôts et trophées’, Paris, 104-5).
Bibliogrpahy: Morel, L., 1898, ‘La Champagne souterraine’ Reims, 8, pl. 1, fig. 3; Déchelette, J., 1914, ‘Manuel d’archéologie préhistorique, celtique, et gallo-romaine’ 2, 3 ‘Second âge du fer ou épogue de La Tène’, Paris, fig. 481, 7.
- Not on display
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number