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Title: Sword / Scabbard
Item Name: Armour and Weapons


Find RF17, an iron sword within a copper alloy scabbard. Campanulate hilt guard and straight scabbard mouth. The front of the scabbard is decorated with curvilinear repousse work, as well as settings for glass mounts (four red and two dark blue remain, seven others are missing). There is a cast chape of "lipped" form. The tip has been bent by plough damage. The back plate has a long applied ridge, with a belt loop in the centre - decorated with ring and dot motifs, echoing the glass mounts. The loop is attached by copper alloy studs. Context 1003. Part of the South Cave Weapons Cache of 5 late Iron Age swords/scabbards and 33 iron spearheads, found by metal detectorists in September 2002. The site was subsequently excavated by Humber Field Archaeology and York Archaeological Trust. The cache was buried in a pit, dug into a pre-existing boundary ditch of a late Iron age/early Romano-British settlement. The finds date to about 70AD.

Culture: Iron Age
Materials: copper alloy; iron; glass
Measurements: L:60.2cm; W:4.2cm
ID_Number: ERYMS : 2005.99.5

Related Media

Related Exhibitions

Heavy Metal in the Iron Age: The South Cave Weapons Cache & other treasures
An exhibition focused on the discovery (in 2002) of five swords in their decorated scabbards and 33 spearheads on agricultural land near South Cave. Dating to around the time of the Roman conquest of the area (70AD), the finds are remarkably well-preserved and an important resource for our understanding of the period. The display also looked at the landscape of the Foulness valley, from where most of the materials probably came and the evidence for iron working in the Iron Age / Roman periods. Other items from the collections, loans from Hull Museums Service and other metal detecting finds from the area were also included in the exhibition, which attracted around 5000 visitors.

Related Publications

A late Iron age Weapons cache from East Yorkshire: Assessment Report
Humber Field Archaeology