Minature Bronze Shield, Alcester

Description of this historic site

A minature shield of mid to late Iron Age date, reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

Notes about this historic site

1 The object is a miniature shield, which has been made from cast copper alloy. These shields date to the Iron Age period, Dr. JD Hill (British Museum) comments that dating the shield is difficult, but is probably mid to late Iron Age c. 400 BC ? 43 AD.In plan the shield is an oval shape. In the centre there is a circular dome (which is hollow on the reverse) which represents a shield boss. Decoration consists of a single fine linear grooved border. Within this border is a series of low-relief dots. Further decoration consists of a roundel formed by a circle of low-relief dots with a single dot in the centre. The roundels appear in the field above and below the boss. The roundels and boss are encompassed with a low-relief curvaceous linear border, which follows the contours of the decoration On the reverse there is no decoration, but in some areas, towards the edge there are high-relief bumps from the circular dots being impressed. In the centre, where the boss is hollow a handle has been attached. The handle is joined by two integral rivets either side of the boss. A strip of copper alloy which has had the rivets puncture it forms the handle, and then the rivets have been flattened. The handle in the central portion has had the two long edge folded to meet each other, therefore the width of he handle has decreased, but the thickness increased. The surface of the brooch is slightly abraded, but where the patina remains it is well developed, shiny and has a grey/green colour. The shield measures 78.5mm long, 36.5mm wide and 6.7mm thick.
2 The minature shield is referred to in an article exploring the impact of the PAS scheme in understanding Iron Age Warwickshire. Possibly a votive offering, perhaps dedicated to Mars. Illustrated.

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