- Museum number
Pair of gold ear-rings, slightly distorted and split. Each ear-ring takes the shape of a hollow c-shape formed from gold sheet, with the gap in the ring bridged by a curved gold pin, affixed at one end. The free end of the pin is tucked in on one of the ear-rings, but not on the other. The main body of each ear-ring is decorated with deep cordons of repousse decoration, three of which are neatly ribbed.
- Production date
- 550 BC - 450 BC (circa)
Diameter: 23.30 - 23.80 millimetres (each ear-ring)
Thickness: 7.60 - 8.60 millimetres (each ear-ring)
Weight: 2 grammes (each ear-ring)
Weight: 4 grammes (total)
- Curator's comments
- Stead and Rigby 1999
Findspot: Marson (Marne)
These ear-rings were found in an inhumation burial in the cemetery at Marson, Marne, France. Morel's report on the excavations at Marson was read at the Sorbonne on 4 April 1874 and again at Châlons-sur-Marne on 27 October 1874. His publication (Morel, L., 1874a, La découverte de sépultures gauloises au territoire de Marson, ‘Mémoires de la société d’agriculture, commerce, sciences et arts du department de la Marne’ (1873-4), 179-94.), virtually identical to the version in Morel, L., 1898, ‘La Champagne souterraine’ Reims, 5-20, is accompanied by the first six plates of the ‘Album’.
(b)'La voie de Lépine'
A huge cemetery at the top of and on the slopes of a hill, extending for almost a kilometre. Morel excavated here between April 1873 and February 1874 and found about 200 burials scattered over about a kilometre, sometimes in groups of four or five. Some graves held more than one skeleton, with two or three burials superimposed, or two side by side. Most graves were orientated west-east, from 1 m to 1.5 m deep, and filled with terre noire, and almost half of them had been disturbed previously. Smith, R.A., 1925, ‘A guide to the antiquities of the Early Iron Age’ (second edition), London, 64-5.
Grave 26: An undisturbed grave group below a skeleton which had been disturbed. A pair of brooches were found (one on each shoulder) but only this one survives. Also found in this grave was ML.1544, ML.1528, ML.1532 as well as three pots found at the feet (none illustrated and not identified), a bronze bracelet on each wrist ((only one is illustrated) correlated with ML.1540 in the Register, but the illustration more closely resembles ML.1444 from Somme-Bionne according to the Register)), four bronze rings, a bronze fitting and an iron ring found above the skull.
Sheet metal earrings, in a deep basket shape, terminating at one end in a long tapering hook. They occur in gold as well as in bronze, singly and in pairs, and usually in women's graves. The gold earring (of a different type) from Berru is sometimes quoted as an example from a man's grave, but see p. 166. Legendre and Eluère (Legendre, R.-M., and Eluère, C., 1986, Deux boucles d’oreilles en or fu Musée de Châlons-sur-Marne (Marne) ‘Mémoires de la société d’agriculture, commerce, sciences et arts du département de la Marne’ (101),
11-32) discuss the gold earrings from France, with list and distribution map, and refer to comparable pieces in Hallstatt D contexts in Switzerland and southern Germany. They distinguish plain from decorated earrings in France and assign most of the former to Hallstatt D and the latter to La Tène I. Judging from the few reliable associations, the basket-shaped earring in Champagne, both gold and bronze, seems to be a Hallstatt rather than a La Tène type (cf. Fig. 1, type J). The only example with a La Tène I brooch is in Morel's Bussy-le-Château grave 1, which might reflect on the reliability of that group (the type R brooch is not the earliest of La Tène I brooches). See also Déchelette, J., 1914, ‘Manuel d’archéologie préhistorique, celtique, et gallo-romaine’ 2, 3 ‘Second âge du fer ou épogue de La Tène’, Paris, 1263-4, fig. 542; Joffroy, R., 1960, ‘L’oppidum de Vix et la civilisation hallstattienne finale dans l’est de la France’ (Publications de l’université de Dijon, 20) 44-8; Bretz-Mahler, D., 1971, ‘La civilisation de La Tène en Champagne (Gallia, supplément, 23) 74-8, pl. 77; Thénot, A, 1982, ‘La civilisation celtique dans l’est de la France, d’après la collection de Baye’, Paris, 85; Rozoy, J.-G. 1987, ‘Les celtes en Champagne’ (Mém. Soc. Archéol. Champenoise, 4) 1, Etude, 277, fig. 229.
Morel was present when a pair of gold earrings was discovered in grave 24 at Witry-les-Reims 'la Voie Carlat' in 1899 and he contributed a note to the report (Bournin, A., 1909, Les cimetières gaulois de Witry-lez-Reims, ‘Bulletin de la société archéologique champenoise’ (3), 78).
Bibliography: Morel, L., 1898, ‘La Champagne souterraine’ Reims, pl. 3, fig. 13; Déchelette, J., 1914, ‘Manuel d’archéologie préhistorique, celtique, et gallo-romaine’ 2, 3 ‘Second âge du fer ou épogue de La Tène’, Paris, fig. 542, 8; Jacobsthal, P., 1944, ‘Early Celtic Art’, Oxford, no. 83.
- On display (G50/dc18)
- Exhibition history
1980, London, BM, Celtic Antiquities from Gaul
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number