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Archaeology - Iron Age
 
Fiskerton, Iron Age antler file
Fiskerton, Iron Age antler file
Fiskerton, Iron Age antler file

The Fiskerton Iron Age causeway site is one of the most important in Europe.  Many hundreds of objects were placed in the waters of the River Witham as religious offerings.

The anaerobic conditions on site meant that many organic remains survived.

This antler handled file is a beautiful example of the material often lost to us. The delicate curve of the handle fits the hand perfectly, and a series of punched dots form a graceful series of swirls around the terminal.

The file itself is in perfect condition, and traces of bronze were found in the teeth, indicating that this was a metalworking rather than a woodworking file.

Courtesy of Lincolnshire County Council, The Collection

Fiskerton, Iron Age antler file
Fiskerton, Iron Age log boat
Fiskerton, Iron Age log boat
Fiskerton, Iron Age log boat

The site of the Iron Age votive causeway at Fiskerton is one of the most important archaeological sites in Europe.

Alongside a wooden causeway leading to the edge of the River Witham, hundreds of objects have been excavated, deposited into the water as votive offerings to the Gods or ancestors.

Alongside many smaller tools and weapons, this entire log boat seems to have been made into an offering.

Still showing axe marks from its manufacture, the boat was probably only used once, to take it to the causeway where it was deliberately sunk.

The boat was made by hollowing out a single oak tree trunk, itself around 300 years old at the time it was chopped down.

Waterlogged when found, the boat underwent five years of treatment before it could be displayed in the archaeology gallery at The Collection.

Courtesy of Lincolnshire County Council, The Collection

Fiskerton, iron age log boat
Lincoln, Iron Age (Witham) shield
Lincoln, Iron Age (Witham) shield
Lincoln, Iron Age (Witham) shield

The Witham Shield is one of the most iconic objects of the British Iron Age.

Discovered in the River Witham between Stamp End and Washingborough in 1826, the shield was initially in the possession of the Rector of Washingborough, Humphrey Waldo Sibthorp.
Lord Brownlow persuaded Sibthorp to pass the shield to Samuel Meyrick, a well-known London collector of arms and armour.

When Meyrick died the shield was purchased by Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks, who donated it to the British Museum in 1872.

The surviving ‘shield’ is actually only the bronze facing of a shield, the wooden backing having rotted prior to discovery.

Made in the 3rd Century BC, probably but not certainly in Britain, the shield is a masterpiece of Iron Age decorative art.

Alongside geometric and zoomorphic devices are inlays of imported coral, and a now lost applied image of a long-legged boar, evidenced only by the rivet holes that once held it in place.

Courtesy of Lincolnshire County Council, The Collection

Archaeology, Witham shield, Iron Age, Washingborough, Humphrey Waldo Sibthorp, Lord Brownlow, Meyric
Normanby&nbsple Wold, Iron Age brooch
Normanby le Wold, Iron Age brooch
Normanby le Wold, Iron Age brooch

This gold brooch is known as a 'birdlip' or 'beaked bow' brooch due to the characteristic protrusion on the bow. The two circular features above give the impression of a bird's face.

The brooch has sadly been damaged in the ground, and the bow has become bent. The pin is also missing, and would have attached beneath the trumpet above the bird's head.

Examples of Iron Age brooches in gold are exceedingly rare, with less than ten known from Britain.  Interestingly, one of the other examples is a gold brooch of similar form from Market Rasen, now in the British Museum.

Courtesy of Lincolnshire County Council, The Collection

Normanby le Wold, Iron Age brooch gold, birdlip, Market Rasen