- Museum number
A damaged iron sword, bent and broken probably in antiquity. It is in two pieces that do not join. The main piece, 514 mm long and now 60 mm wide at the damaged shoulders. The edges of the blade are damaged, but it seems to taper to about 38 mm around 150 mm from the shoulder, and then increases to a surviving maximum width of 43 mm. There are hints of steps at both sides below the shoulders. The broken tang ends just beyond a sharp bend, and its surviving edges and the top of the shoulders are flattened. There are the edges of rivet holes in both shoulders, and two more visible on X-rays. On one side there are slight traces of a wooden hilt end. The blade has a broad midrib, about 10 mm wide, and the main length ends at a sharp bend, suggesting that it was bent and broken in antiquity. The shorter length of blade, 210 mm long, starts with a sharp bend (presumably the same as above) and lacks the tip.
Length: 514 millimetres (piece 1)
Length: 210 millimetres (piece 2)
Width: 60 millimetres (piece 1; at shoulders)
- Curator's comments
- Stead and Rigby 1999
Findspot: Corbeil (Marne)
Morel, L., 1898, ‘La Champagne souterraine’ Reims, 174-7, records that M. Narcisse Proquin, of Corbeil, literally stumbled across a Hallstatt C iron sword in a rut in the track between Corbeil and Somsois. He removed it in two pieces and took it to Morel, who set out with an experienced excavator and located the inhumation grave in which it had been buried. There was terre noire in the filling. The discovery was noted first in Morel, L., 1889, communication (Corbeil) , ‘Bulletin archéologique du comité des travaux historiques et scientifiques’, 283-4. Smith, R.A., 1925, ‘A guide to the antiquities of the Early Iron Age’ (second edition), London, 49-50.
The grave contained ML.1733 and ML.1739.
Context: Swords and Scabbards; Long swords and their Scabbards; Hallstatt C.
Hallstatt C iron swords, with distinctive flat tangs and flaring shoulders riveted to secure the handle, are rare in Champagne. Only one in the Morel Collection, ML.1733 from Corbeil, was found in the area where La Tène burials are concentrated. Another of Morel's Hallstatt C swords came from Lorraine and the third was found in the south of France. Champagne has produced other examples: on the north-east boundary of the distribution of La Tène burials at Saulces-Champenoises (Flouest and Stead 1979, 14), a site that developed into a La Tène cemetery; in the cremation barrow cemetery at Haulzy, graves 21 and 30 (Goury, G., 1911, ‘L’enceinte d’Haulzy et sa Nécropole’ (Les étapes de l’humanité, vol. 1, fasc. 1) Nancy, 39); and possibly at Château Porcien (Freidin, N., 1982, ‘The Early Iron Age in the Paris Basin: Hallstatt C and D’ (Brit. Archaeol. Rep., International series, 131), Oxford, 22 - with distribution map 1, showing others to the south and south-east of the La Tène burials).
Bibliography: Morel 1898, pl. 39, fig. 8 (does not show the break between the two parts, nor does the Register except in a later annotation).
- Not on display
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number