- Museum number
An elaborate cast bronze ring-plate (belt fitting) which has a ring with a rectangular collar raised on one side and grooved on the other. The raised side has a slightly off-centre knob of ?coral flanked by diagonal grooves. Beyond the collar the plate expands, its sides neatly modelled, each with inset ?coral, but the central part is crudely finished. It terminates in iron corrosion, suggesting that the bronze was cast on to an iron ring or bar whose terminals alone survive.
Length: 49 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Stead and Rigby 1999
ML.1636 and ML.2909 are parts of the same piece were given different registration numbers; there is an annotated correction in Smith's hand.
Findspot: Pleurs ‘Les Buttes’ (Marne)
When Morel moved to Pleurs in 1869 he was told of the discovery of a grave in 1851; he acquired some of the finds, was shown the site (where he retrieved bronze-stained bones) and started excavating (Morel 1898, 109-21). Using a probe, he located a ditch 1 m wide and deep, defining what had been a circular mound with a central pit filled with terre noire, ashes and cremated human bones (plan, Morel 1898, pl. 28; Fig. 199). Within the circle he found five graves as well as the one excavated in 1851, and to the north of it there was a second circle and two more graves. He suspected that there might have been a third circle to the south, where he found six more graves. None of the graves in the main circle had been cut into the chalk, and Morel suggested that the corpses had been placed on the ground and then covered with a mound. Smith, R.A., 1925, ‘A guide to the antiquities of the Early Iron Age’ (second edition), London, 67-8.
Grave 11: Skeleton with an iron chain with bronze rings at the ends, found by the right hand, near the right leg, and Morel suggests that it was a sling.
Context: Belt chains; Cast links.
Bronze belt chains are found in women's graves in Champagne, in La Tène Ic and II (Fig. 2, type j); Déchelette, J., 1914, ‘Manuel d’archéologie préhistorique, celtique, et gallo-romaine’ 2, 3 ‘Second âge du fer ou épogue de La Tène’, Paris, 1230-35.
Ring links with butted joints: There is bronze chain of this type from Cuperly (Challet, V., 1992, ‘Les celtes et l’émail’, Paris, 77), Loisy-sur-Marne grave 17 (Kruta 1987, 24, fig. 6) and St-Benoît-sur-Seine grave 1 and grave 21; and iron chain from Fère-Champenoise 'Faubourg de Connantre' grave 47 (a short length extending a chain of different type) and St-Benoît-sur-Seine graves 17, 20 and 57.
Bibliography: Morel, L., 1898, ‘La Champagne souterraine’ Reims, pl. 27, fig. 12; cf. München-Moosach grave 2, Krämer, W., 1985, ‘Die Grabfunde von Manching und die latènezeitlichen Flachgräber in Südbayern’ (Die Ausgrabungen in Manching, 9) Stuttgart, 119, pl. 56,4.
Morel's illustration and the Register show an arc of iron chain between the iron corrosion terminals: the relevant piece of chain survives, encased in plaster, but it had been glued to the terminals.
- Not on display
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number