Record Details

NHER Number:4256
Type of record:Monument
Name:Iron Age human remains and sword

Summary

In 1944 digging for gravel in this area discovered an iron sword on top of the chest of a human skeleton. This burial was felt to date to sometime before 200 BC. According to local rumours the finder of the sword had also found 'a silver snuffbox and a jewelled ring' at the same time which he had concealed and sold. It is possible that these items were misidentified Iron Age objects.

Images

  • The anthropoid handle of an Iron Age sword.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service

Location

Grid Reference:TF 6834 0851
Map Sheet:TF60NE
Parish:SHOULDHAM, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

1944. Stray Find.
Found at depth of 1ft 6in [46cm] in digging gravel in ploughed field approximately 220ft [67m] south-east of site of church of St Margaret (destroyed at Reformation).
Anthropoid iron sword 21.25in [54cm] long found on chest of human skeleton. See drawings (S1) and (S2).
Information from finder [1]
Belongs to Hawkes Class B dating before 200 BC. Probably a Marnian grave.
Donated to Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 1949.4).
See published article (S3). Also noted in (S4), (S5), (S6) and (S7).
Information from (S8) [3].
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 9 August 2018.

Found with other burials. medieval? E. Rose (NAU)).
Information from (S8).

September 2004.
Source [2] stated that there was a persistent local rumour at the time that the finder of the sword had also found 'a silver snuffbox and a jewelled ring' at the same time which he had concealed and sold. Are these misidentifications of Iron Age objects?
E. Rose (NLA) 21 September 2004.

Monument Types

  • INHUMATION (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • INHUMATION (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • HUMAN REMAINS (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • SWORD (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

---*Verbal Communication: 2004. [unknown]. 20 September.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 60 NE 19 [2].
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Illustration: [Unknown]. 1944. Drawing of an Iron Age iron anthropoid sword. Paper. 1:1.
<S2>Illustration: [Unknown]. 1944. Drawing of an Iron Age iron anthropoid sword. Card. 1:1.
<S3>Article in Serial: Clarke, R. R. and Hawkes, C. F. C. 1955. An Iron Anthropoid Sword from Shouldham, Norfolk, with Related Continental and British Weapons. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. Vol XXI pp 198-227, pl XXI.
<S4>Publication: 1940. Archaeol. Bull. B. I.. p.46. p 46.
<S5>Publication: 1949. Council for British Archaeology. p.24. p 24.
<S6>Article in Serial: Piggot, S. 1950. Swords and scabbards of the British Early Iron Age. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. Vol XVI pp 1-28. p 26.
<S7>Article in Serial: Clarke, R. R. 1952. Notes on Recent Archaeological Discoveries in Norfolk (1943-8). Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXX pp 156-159. p 157.
<S8>Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.

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