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Title: Sword / scabbard
Item Name: Armour and Weapons


Iron sword in copper alloy scabbard (find RF16). The hilt guard is of campanulate form and the scabbard mouth is straight. The front plate is decorated with two cast openwork panels and applied strips containing alternate rectangular inlays of red and white(?) enamel. The back of the scabbard has a long decorated rib, with a strap loop about halfway down. This is attached by copper alloy studs. Whale ivory hilt guard and pommel, possibly elephant ivory grip (only fragment remains). See also 2005.99.2 (the detached scabbard chape). Context 1003. Part of the South Cave Weapons Cache of 5 late Iron Age swords/scabbards and 33 iron spearheads, found by metal detectorists in September 2002. The site was subsequently excavated by Humber Field Archaeology and York Archaeological Trust. The cache was buried in a pit, dug into a pre-existing boundary ditch of a late Iron age/early Romano-British settlement. The finds date to about 70AD.

Culture: Iron Age
Materials: iron; copper alloy; enamel
Measurements: L:60cm; W:6cm (approx)
ID_Number: ERYMS : 2005.99.1

Related Media

Related Exhibitions

Heavy Metal in the Iron Age: The South Cave Weapons Cache & other treasures
An exhibition focused on the discovery (in 2002) of five swords in their decorated scabbards and 33 spearheads on agricultural land near South Cave. Dating to around the time of the Roman conquest of the area (70AD), the finds are remarkably well-preserved and an important resource for our understanding of the period. The display also looked at the landscape of the Foulness valley, from where most of the materials probably came and the evidence for iron working in the Iron Age / Roman periods. Other items from the collections, loans from Hull Museums Service and other metal detecting finds from the area were also included in the exhibition, which attracted around 5000 visitors.

Related Publications

A late Iron age Weapons cache from East Yorkshire: Assessment Report
Humber Field Archaeology