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'Where water wells up from the earth’: excavations at the findspot of the Late Bronze Age hoard from Broadward, Shropshire

Bradley, R., Lewis, J., Mullin, D. and Branch, N. (2015) 'Where water wells up from the earth’: excavations at the findspot of the Late Bronze Age hoard from Broadward, Shropshire. Antiquaries Journal, 95. pp. 21-64. ISSN 1758-5309

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/S0003581515000177

Abstract/Summary

The paper begins by considering the importance of springs as a focus for votive deposits in Bronze Age Britain. This is not a new idea, but nowhere has this association been examined through the excavation of one of these features. The point is illustrated by excavation at the findspot of a famous group of Late Bronze Age weapons, the Broadward hoard, discovered in 1867. Little was known about the site, where it was found or the character of the original deposit, but a study of contemporary accounts of the hoard, combined with geophysical and topographical surveys, led to small-scale excavation in 2010, which showed that the deposit had most probably been buried in a pit on the edge of a spring. Other finds associated with the spring included an Early Bronze Age macehead, a Roman pot and various Saxon and medieval animal bones. The latest deposit, with a post-medieval carbon date, included a wooden knife or dagger. An adjacent palaeochannel provided an important environmental sequence for this part of the English–Welsh borderland and suggests that the Late Bronze Age hoard had been deposited not far from a settlement. A nearby earthwork enclosure was associated with a clay weight, which may be of similar date. Despite the limited scale of the fieldwork, it illustrates the potential for treating springs associated with artefact finds on the same terms as other archaeological deposits.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Archaeology
ID Code:44302
Additional Information:Corrigendum at https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003581517000014
Publisher:Society of Antiquaries of London

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