The series looking at the stories behind the objects from the Portable Antiquities Scheme continues with Worcestershire. Victoria Allnatt, the Finds Liaison Officer for West Staffordshire and the South West Midlands, has selected objects from across the chronological range that are representative of the material routinely recorded (weapons and tools that characterise the Bronze Age records give way to coins and brooches in the Iron Age) or are in some other way special.
Portable Antiquities Scheme
The popular (and beautifully illustrated) series exploring Portable Antiquities Scheme finds in different areas continues with a slim volume focused not on a region, but on all of medieval England.
This is another in the popular series of books that showcases finds largely recovered by metal-detectorists and recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme. The objects presented are mouth-watering. There is among them a quartzite bifacial hand axe of Lower or Middle Palaeolithic date, a Bronze Age bracelet of sheet gold, three torcs that represent the earliest Iron Age gold known in Britain, an enamelled souvenir pan from Hadrian’s Wall, the Anglo- Saxon Staffordshire Hoard, a medieval heraldic harness mount, and a post-medieval pocket sundial.
Another in the series of ‘50 Finds from the Portable Antiquities Scheme’, this book focuses on Warwickshire, and demonstrates, once again, the fruitfulness of encouraging the public to report finds. It must have been difficult to choose 50 from the 28,500 objects recorded by the PAS in the county. Among those selected are a handaxe from Bidford-on-Avon, the Alcester miniature Iron Age shield, a preserved Roman leather sandal found near Newton, the ‘Bidford Bobble’ (an early medieval aestel), and a lead papal bulla of Pope Innocent IV.
There has been a longstanding debate among archaeologists over the purpose of Bronze Age (c.2500-800 BC) hoards, particularly those including objects that appear to have been deliberately broken. early theories suggested that they were purely functional: created either for temporary storage, recycling, or for actual ‘hoarding’ in times of strife. More recently, though, many archaeologists have ascribed a more ritualistic meaning to the practice: perhaps buried as religious offerings or as displays of social status. until now these ideas have mostly been based on the descriptive analyses of hoards’ characteristics. A new study, however, addresses this debate using mathematical modelling.
The Treasure Act and the Portable Antiquities Scheme have released their annual reports, and the number of new finds made by members of the public has reached its highest level since the Act was first made law 20 years ago (see CA 331). Overall, there were 1,120 Treasure finds and a further 81,914 archaeological finds […]
One hundred years ago this month, the Representation of the People Act 1918 made political history, giving British women the vote for the first time. Electoral rights were only extended to a select portion of the female population (I wouldn’t have qualified) but it was a watershed moment. This might seem more like social history […]
Celebrating the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Oxfordshire since the Scheme’s inception, Anni Byard has chosen 50 objects from over 30,000 recorded over the last 13 years.
Katie Hinds Amberley Publishing, £14.99 ISBN 978-1445662343 Review Lorraine Mepham One of several books recently published celebrating the work of the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), this follows the popular format of using individual objects to tell a larger story. The author had more than 43,000 objects to choose from, reported over the last 18 years. […]
The early medieval cemetery at Sutton Hoo has a long and complex history. Our cover feature explores how a royal burial ground was transformed into a grim place of execution; how interpretations of the site have evolved; and how its wider context traces the Anglo-Saxon story, from pagan immigrants to a Christian kingdom. New arrivals […]