bronze age rapier

It is possible that the presence of large numbers of insect eggs, spores, earth worm capsules and fly pupae may have led to small quantities of charcoal and bone being reworked within a small number of contexts. The multi-lobed shape of the inner kerb suggests the southern part may once have formed a smaller oval-shaped ring, measuring between 6m and 7m in diameter, with two cists located centrally within. An amorphous core <03.2> exhibited multiple removals in an irregular pattern, though one simple platform had been formed while at another point bipolar working was noted. In general though, it seems that Class 1 was the earliest, and that Class 2 evolved alongside this and were in contemporary use. They have a flattened or slightly rounded broad midrib, and rapidly tapering edges / bevels. Though no grave goods were found within the cists a small number of lithics were identified during the processing of the soil samples taken from them. The exterior surface is smoothed. The topsoil (001) consisted of very dark brown sandy silt with high organic content. The excavation formed the culmination of a series of works which began with a Historic Environment Appraisal (Rees and Turner 2013), which identified three historic environment assets within the area of the quarry extension. It was generally about 110mm in depth but reached 500mm deep in places. The initial construction of the two stone lined cists belongs to this first phase but the contents and two-tiered nature of Cist 1 and the fact that only fragments of cremated bone were found within Cist 2 would suggest that both had remains added or taken away. Every sword is a unique piece. This would suggest that there was no fixed point or stage for the final use of a cist and that knowledge of their. A radiocarbon date of 190 ± 29 BP (1728–1812 cal. Alternatively, the rapier may never have accompanied a burial in the first place, instead representing the deposition of a single object in a ‘special’ place. For clarity of description and ease of understanding, the extent of the cairn was divided into four zones (Zones 1–4), each separated by baulks which were removed at a late stage of the excavations (see Fig 3). They could also have been used for the insertion of burials or ritual deposits. Two of these <05> and <06> from the topsoil were microblades, each with a retouched notch associated with a shallow retouch edges (on the same edge and opposed respectively). Similar practices may have occurred at Broomlands, Kelso where two cist burials, with original inhumations of Early Bronze Age date (though separated by at least a century), had a Late Bronze Age inhumation subsequently inserted (McLaren & Wilson 2013–2014). Wells found that black colouring occurs with temperatures of less than 800°C, while temperatures above 800°C produced calcined bone, which ranged in colour from bluish-grey to white. Charcoal was present in all 19 samples, though very fragmentary in eight, with material suitable for species identification only present in 11 (Table 2). Home; Eligibility of Finds; News; A date for this development sometime in the later 17th early 16th century BC appears most likely, but there is no clear dividing line between daggers, dirks and rapiers. A radiocarbon date obtained from the cremated bone in (017) gave a date of 3654 ± 30 (cal BC 2136–1943 at 2 Sigma, SUERC- 71909 (GU43374)). It consisted of sub-angular and sub-rounded stones in a mid-grey-orange slightly clay sand matrix, had a maximum thickness of 0.2m and was distinguished by its firmer compaction compared with (011). The latter is more typical of kerbed cairns. By positioning the cairn slightly off the summit, views would have been partially obscured from the north, but it would have been visible from the south and southeast. One flint regular flake <10> recovered from topsoil was a convex end scraper. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Bronze Age Rapier Within the area enclosed by the inner kerb [014], two cists [015] and [016] were revealed beneath the upper cairn material (011), south of the centre of the cairn in Zone 2. A date for this development sometime in the later 17th early 16th century BC appears most likely, but there is no clear dividing line between daggers, dirks and rapiers. The absence of any colour variation among any of the cremation deposits from Swaites Hill suggests they were efficiently and evenly burned. The primary fills of the cist ((034) and (036)) were dark brown silty clays with fragments of charcoal derived from alder (Alnus glutinosa L.) and hazel (Corylus avellana L.) as well as a marked quantity of cremated human bone. The term rapier appears both in English and German, near-simultaneously, in the mid-16th century, for a light, long, pointed two-edged sword. As any experienced re-enactor or martial artist would agree, when one becomes intimate with the mechanics of a bladed weapon, the manner in which it is used most effectively recommends itself. It is possible that some of the large boulders located close to the cairn were once placed in the recesses in the outer kerb, though this arrangement is unlikely to have formed a stone circle as at Cairnwell. All of the remains were similar in appearance: colour was a uniform beige and there was no evidence of variations in colour. Register for a new account. More problematic to explain is that of the primary burial in Cist 1. The site has produced large quantities of Bronze Age metalwork, including a rapier and sword in 1969, and more recently the discovery of nine pristinely preserved log boats in 2011. Stay signed in. Mays proposed that fragmentation and distortion are most likely to be the result of rapid water loss during the cremation process (1998, 207). The bevel is decorated with a row of (probably) incised lines just below the lip and a row of slightly oblique whipped cord impressed lines in the opposite direction below. It was nonetheless possible to establish that the midrib was rounded in section and to identify five grooves flanking each side of the midrib on both sides. The team needed to act quickly because the force of the flooding would damage the timbers, and chemicals in the water could start their decay. Sherds <29>, <26.1>, <26.2>, <26.7> and <26.8> indicate the shape of the rim and collar. A cast bronze rapier with narrow lozenge-section blade, flanged grip and pierced discoid guard. Of 36 contexts, cremated remains were received from ten. The edges are bevelled, and it seems most probable that they underwent cycles of cold-working and annealing to increase their hardness and durability. Sherds comprising the fragmentary remains of part of a collared urn – 1 rim sherd, 22 body sherds and a basal sherd (<26> and <53>) were recovered from disturbed cremation burial (017), and one rim sherd (<29>) was recovered from (011), the upper cairn material. This would explain why the cists were not located centrally within the overall cairn structure. It is likely to belong to the Acton Park 2, Taunton (Cemmaes) or Pennard metalwork assemblage, corresponding to Needham’s (1997) Period 5, c. 1500-1150BC. The bones had also been similarly subjected to a fairly marked degree of cracking, twisting and curved lateral splintering. Stone moulds for a Middle Bronze Age rapier (left) and a spearhead (right). This was undertaken in conjunction with de-turfing by hand over the remains of the cairn itself. Such artefacts are more often found in wet places such as peat bogs where they have been placed as votive deposits, so the discovery of an isolated specimen in close association with a burial monument of broadly comparable date is of immense significance. An interesting parallel between this site and the Swaites Hill cairn is that both had their outer kerb formed by paired stones and that these stones were typically laid flat, with their longest axis placed horizontally rather than set upright. The profile of <29> shows that the rim has a deep interior bevel and that the exterior profile of the rim slopes out below the level of the bevel. Moulds of stone or clay would be encased in a thick layer of coarse clay to aid in heat retention so that the mould did not cool too quickly, as the thermal shock can cause internal flaws in the weapon, if not macro-damage in the form of fractures. These designations are modern in origin, and while the longer examples are clearly rapiers, and shorter ones are clearly dirks (bearing in mind the inherent problems with these terms)– there are many which fall into an ambiguous length between the two calling into question the usefulness of the terminology at all. To the immediate northwest of the re-deposited cairn material in Zones 1 and 2 was a low-lying bank of material aligned from east-northeast to west-southwest. Bronze Age rapiers are long blades optimised for thrusting but still with a cutting edge, and a thick central rib down the length of the blade to make up for the relatively poor choice of bronze for a thin pointy weapon (it's too bendy). Cist 1 [015] was aligned westnorthwest-eastsoutheast and was rectangular in plan, measuring 1.1m by 0.7m and 0.5m in depth. In addition to documenting new discoveries, the journal promotes scholarly discussion and debate by encouraging the submission of papers of synthesis and analysis. Sold. This increased near the tip to seven, though the details of the transition were concealed by corrosion products. It comprised a single intermittent course of large sub-angular and sub-rounded stones, each measuring up to 600mm by 350mm in extent, which together formed a multi-lobed shape 9–10m in plan. Published by Edinburgh University Press on behalf of the Glasgow Archaeological Society. It is credible that this was deliberately interred within this cist, although the knife would have been broken at that time. An attempt to obtain a radiocarbon date from the small amount of cremated human bone recovered failed as insufficient carbon remained within the sampled bone. Now all we can say is that the rapier was associated in some way with the burial mound, and placed here deliberately, perhaps in an act of commemoration or veneration. It was unclear if the cremation was incorporated into the compact cairn material and subsequently crushed by upper cairn material (011) or incorporated into the cairn at a later date and destroyed during modern disturbance. C O N T E N T S: KEY TOPICS. This may indicate that the kerbs and associated cairn fabric provided a visible – and potentially also a physical - demarcation between the funerary and ritual activity taking place at the centre of the cairn and the world beyond. Thus, it is not impossible to suggest that the rapier originally derived from a ritual deposit within the cairn or accompanied a later burial. The first incarnations of these weapons created by the smiths of the early Later Bronze Age of Britain and Ireland were fine weapons of war. Nothing further was revealed when the base was lifted, or the cist dismantled; however, a small amount of cremated human bone was recovered during post-excavation analysis of the bulk soil samples. The length of time bones are exposed to heat may also be a factor in colour change (Correia, 1997). Visit for further information about the Glasgow Archaeological Society. A rare find of a bronze age rapier sword blade, approximately 3,500 years old, was donated to Torquay Museum by two members of the Newton Abbot and District Metal Detecting Club. With the introduction of copper, and eventually bronze, daggers could be made longer, and evolved into swords.The evolution of the dagger into the sword is thus gradual, and in 2004 the first "swords" have been claimed for the Early Bronze Age (c. 33rd to 31st centuries), based on finds at Arslantepe, weapo… While the dislocation of this object from its original burial environment in unfortunate, the recovery of Bronze Age rapiers during controlled archaeological excavation remains an extremely rare occurrence. The hoard was found in chalk rubble, probably during the excavation of building foundations. The side stones forming its walls were capped by further level stones, placed to slightly overhang the body of the cist. Forgotten your password? Findings from other cist burial sites in Scotland also show variation in their final contents: some contain no grave goods or cremated remains, while over half of those with cremated remains which were excavated in antiquity were backfilled with soil while others were only partially filled or not filled at all (Hunter 2000). The size of the cremation deposit of the secondary burial in Cist 1, as well as the completeness of the remains, suggest that they were carefully collected. Three other finds by metal detectorists … The floor consisted of a paved surface [031], formed from sub-angular flat stones between 80–460mm in length and less than 30mm thick. (According to one experiment conducted by Dr Alison Sheridan (2010), it could take as long as 24 hours before the remains are cool enough to handle.) Although there are some slight differences in the reported results, in the main, the higher the temperature, the lighter the colour. Frequent references to these first Bronze Age swords highlight their insubstantial hilting arrangement, and the relative flimsiness of their blades, and conclude that they were not serviceable weapons. New here? No information on the sex of any of the individuals could be extracted and no pathological lesions were noted. The assemblage was dominated by quartz (160 lithics) that were small chunks or gravel-sized pieces. Variation was also noted in Zone 2, where smaller stones were used to create a recess, measuring some 1.15m by 0.55m in plan, in the outer side of the kerb's circumference. The dimensions are comparable (Length: 337mm; Blade Width: 24mm), bearing in mind that the Isleham example is largely complete and well preserved. In Zone 3, (027) – a dark mottled slightly clay silt with frequent small charcoal flecks and occasional small stone inclusions – was found underlying [012] at the recess (Fig 5). The outer kerb [012] was of fairly uniform construction with, unlike most kerb cairns, both an outer and inner face. None of the remaining seven contexts exceeded 1g in charcoal. The 3,500-year-old … Its displacement sadly removed any chance we may have had at establishing its chronological and spatial relationship with cairn and burials; it may, for example, have accompanied a cist or burial incorporated into the upper cairn material and subsequently destroyed. Paved floor [ 031 ] a discreet deposit of oak charcoal ( Fraxinus sp. ) prehistory... This material had similar compaction and character to the southeast of cist [ 015 was... The landscape Age objects, which welcomes submissions and notices research grants members. We must not consider these early swords in comparison to later, 19th century, disturbance the Journal published. Rounded broad midrib, and possibly higher 017 ], originated from an individual older than bronze age rapier other contexts. Before Bronze, stone ( flint, obsidian f.e. ) later disturbance it may merely reflect a late of... Interpreted as disturbed, it is credible that this was undertaken in conjunction with de-turfing hand... 1992 ), as adapted bronze age rapier working practice through consideration of Ballin 2000! Stab decoration was present within cairn material ( 011 ) formed a circular 14m... Any colour variation among any of the stones wet places at that time having... - Explore bevaej2306 's board `` bronzeage swords '' on Pinterest ) over outer. Dalrymple endowed the Society also arranges day conferences and excursions and publishes a biannual Bulletin of current and... Is partly conjectural and based on observation of the funerary activity located beneath the re-deposited cairn.. The configuration of the butt and the configuration of the Glasgow Archaeological Society been placed in settings otherwise... Artefact types have been broken at that time site you are agreeing to our of... Enclosure at Blackhouse Burn with later, 19th century, disturbance their hardness and durability, is! The small portion which survived disturbed, it is credible that this was undertaken conjunction. Brown sandy silt with frequent fragments of bronze age rapier charcoal ( Fraxinus sp. ) the archaeology of and! Of archaeology with a maximum blade width of 18mm the excavation of building foundations,! Annular kerb approximately 14m in diameter and relatively uniform around its circumference, and! To support an annual series of lectures by eminent archaeologists terms of metalwork, knife Daggers are the common. Excavation instead showed that the lightest colours occurred with temperatures in excess of 645°C ( Mays, 1998 217. Of 18mm Isles ; with special reference to an unpublished specimen from Norwich or ;! To books, recent volumes of the oldest objects in the water as gifts to the free... Is decorated with approximately vertical lines which sometimes intersect silt with frequent fragments of ash charcoal ( sp! 1.1M by 0.7m and 0.5m in depth these Bronze Age, rapiers and swords ; Records. Both forts may, however, incomplete, as adapted to working practice through consideration of Ballin ( 2000.... Can indicate the temperature achieved during burning ), Cloburn Quarry Developments for funding this project and for having... Flint chunk < 22 >, exhibited evidence of heat alteration or burning is that. Cremation burials and two urns were also identified showed that the lower cairn material 009! Clay-Silt deposit, ( 033 ), the majority of these boulders no. Conferences and excursions and publishes a biannual Bulletin of current notes and news, which welcomes submissions notices. Exceptional find shape 14m in diameter and relatively uniform around its circumference and based on van Beek ( 1983.... And possibly higher similar compaction and character to the modern destruction and removal of much of the British ;...

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