Thursday, March 18, 2010

Unidentifiable Object Uncovered in Kent Excavation

Okay, it's round - it is composed of silver, bronze and wood, it's got holes in it.  What is it? 

17 March 2010
Saxon artefact found in Kent dig vexes technology

A Saxon object which was uncovered in an archaeological dig in Kent cannot be identified by experts.

The circular silver, bronze and wooden disk was found in a Saxon burial ground at The Meads, Sittingbourne, in 2008.

Despite using microscopes, X-rays and reading articles about burial grounds, the Canterbury Archaeological Trust (CAT) has been unable to identify it.

CAT believe that the object could be a decorative form of mount as it was discovered next to a sword.

Finds manager of CAT Andrew Richardson said: "We don't currently recognise it, but it may be a decorative mount on something, but we don't know what it's mounted on.

Shopping centre laboratory

"We'll analyse the wood on the back, to see what sort of wood it is and see whether it was attached to an item.

"We've been trawling thought the literature, and we'll look at its relationship to other finds in the grave and see if we can figure out by looking at the corrosion of objects how it relates to other items."

The disc was discovered with about 2,500 other objects at The Meads burial ground.

The items are currently undergoing a cleaning and identification process at a temporary laboratory in the Forum Shopping Centre by a group of experts and volunteers who have been specially trained.
Discovered "next to a sword."  Okay, well I suppose if it was mount of some kind on the sword it could have been knocked off during the burial process.  Or possibly it could have been pushed off some time after the burial due to earth shifts from freezing and thawing or some other force?  Just guessing here - I'm sure it wasn't the deceased who decided to wake up one day and just rip the thing off the sword.  That is, if it was on the sword to begin with.

When I first saw it, I thought it might have something to do with horse tack.  But we weren't given any dimensions in the article -

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