Metal detector finds from Skirpenbeck and Wilberfoss on ‘virtual display’ at the Treasure House

Part of a bronze spearhead, found by a metal detectorist near Stamford Bridge and more than 3,000-years-old, has gone on “virtual display” at the Treasure House.

Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 11:29 am
The bronze spearhead discovered at Skirpenbeck.
The bronze spearhead discovered at Skirpenbeck.

The spearhead formed part of a small hoard of scrap metal discovered at Skirpenbeck in 2018.

Among the pieces of ingots and casting waste, was a fragment of the socketed and ribbed spearhead thought to date to around 1150 to 800BC.

A Bronze Age spearhead of similar age was discovered at Pocklington in 1978 and is now part of the Yorkshire Museum collection at York.

The silver dress hook from Wilberfoss.

The hoard was recently acquired by the East Riding Museums Service for £150.

Museums registrar Dr David Marchant said: “You could view it as the work of a jobbing craftsman, who would maybe move round and provide services to different communities.

“It was quite a skilled thing – still is. The spearhead may not have come out of its mould well, became broken, and then dumped with the rest of the scraps, possibly for recycling later.

Dr Marchant added: “He may have done a bit of work, dumped what he didn’t want and moved on – we will never know for sure.

“The reason we went for it was that we didn’t have a good example of a Bronze Age spearhead– even though it is only half of it. They are not phenomenally rare, but still sufficiently unusual to warrant attention.

“Metalwork is still relatively uncommon.

“By the time you get to the Iron Age lots of people are using and making metal. But in the Bronze Age it is a bit more special – almost magical.”

A silver dress hook, used to fasten a tunic, which was decorated with beads of silver wire, has also gone into museum’s archaeological collection, after being bought for £25 from the British Museum after being declared Treasure.

It was found at Wilberfoss in 2018 by a metal detectorist and dates to about 1500-1650.

A third object – part of an Anglo-Saxon brooch, found at Thwing – was also donated.

Dating to around 800-1000, it has a beautiful design of a bird and branch in the centre, with traces of red and blue enamel that once covered the whole surface.

With the Treasure House closed, Dr Marchant said the items can now be seen on the online catalogue – East Riding Treasures Online.

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