The pattern on the Swaites Hill urn has parallels with urns from England and Wales as well as Scotland (here the references are to the catalogue in Longworth's volume which contains bibliographic references, museum collection, etc). A rare find of a bronze age rapier sword blade, approximately 3,500 years old, was donated to Torquay Museum by two members of the Newton Abbot and District Metal Detecting Club. This type of complexity and phasing with regards to earlier activities was also seen in the nearby, now-quarried Cairngryffe Hill ring-cairn, where internal rings of stone kerbs or postholes demarcated different areas beneath the cairn material (Lelong & Pollard 1998a). Dr Kenneth Brophy (University of Glasgow)Prof Jane Downes (University of Highlands and Islands)Professor Stephen Driscoll (University of Glasgow)Dr Philip Freeman (University of Liverpool)Dr Sally Foster (University of Stirling)Prof Niall Sharples (University of Cardiff). This may have happened numerous times before the cists were finally filled in and covered with cairn material. This type of pattern is formed by impressing whipped cord, for example on the urn from West Ashy in Lincolnshire (Longworth 1984, Pl 14a, 226); and twisted cord, eg Llandian, Gwynedd (ibid Pl 18b, 327), Kirriemuir in Tayside (ibid Pl 51C, 313) and Kettle in Fife (ibid 313, Pl 90(e)); and by incision, for example on urns from Chorley, Lancs (ibid 217, Pl 82b), in this case enclosed between single linear incised lines with an incised lattice on the neck and a row of jabs on the shoulder; Tara, Co Meath (ibid Pl 93a, 2236), Inverkeithing, Fife (ibid, Pl 102a, 1823), and West Hampshire (ibid, Pl 107(b), 649). Their hard work and diligence on site was very much appreciated. Key: *=<10, **=10–29, ***=30–100, ****=>100, weight given in grams in brackets. In some regards there is an impasse in searching for where they were used, but there is considerable importance in how they could be used, and the great quality of the surviving artefacts and accurate replicas can make help us to better understand this. Sheridan and Shortland (2004) have observed that the rapid spread of collared urn use may be related to networks of contact, perhaps associated with bronze manufacturing. The only charcoal species identified within cremation [028] was oak. Some stone moulds survive for the casting of rapiers, and it is most probable that ceramic moulds were also widely used in their manufacture. Very occasional flecks of alder charcoal (Alnus glutinosa L.) were present, from which a radiocarbon date of 3753 ± 29BP (cal BC 2232–2120 at 2 Sigma, SUERC-71906 (GU 43373)) was obtained. This suggested pre-cairn anthropic activity such as clearance or agriculture in the immediate environs of the site, with any such activity potentially occurring closer to Zone 3. The Statistical Accounts mention additional urns being uncovered under a cairn (Canmore ID 47644) a quarter of a mile away but give no explanation why that cairn was dug up. All the material suggests a Bronze Age date which ties in with the radiocarbon dates recovered from the cists’ fills. Light grey/beige or white colouring occurs with temperatures in excess of 645°C (Mays, 1998, 217). Some, however, did not follow this pattern. Thus, it is not impossible to suggest that the rapier originally derived from a ritual deposit within the cairn or accompanied a later burial. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. It may initially have been deposited within the main body of the cairn, either in isolation or as part of a burial, before modern disturbance displaced it. Their similarity with the grooved daggers of Gerloff's Armorico-British type (Gerloff 1975), combined with their largely complementary distribution, has led to the suggestion that these objects may be contemporary with some of the later dagger types and that the Group 1 rapiers may have their origins as early as 1600–1500 BC (Cowie 1995, 349). The total weight of charcoal recovered was 26.6g. 0558 Circa 800-500 BC. Before bronze, stone (flint, obsidian f.e.) Comparable reuse of earlier monuments can be seen in the nearby large ritual enclosure at Blackshouse Burn, where Bronze Age cist burials with associated urns and cremated bone were reportedly recovered by 18th century stone robbers (Ferguson 1794). An interesting parallel between this site and the Swaites Hill cairn is that both had their outer kerb formed by paired stones and that these stones were typically laid flat, with their longest axis placed horizontally rather than set upright. Forgotten your password? The evaluation confirmed the suspected clearance cairns to be exactly that; their age could not, however, be ascertained. Home; Eligibility of Finds; News; This proud possession has its ancestry millenia before recorded history in these islands, many centuries before the legendary Achilles and Hector are said to have fought before the walls of Troy. The Journal is published with the financial support of the Dalrymple Fund. The charcoal was concentrated in (021), (023) and burnt spread (032), with material from these more likely to represent in situ deposition thus providing more reliable dates. Respecting the integrity of the context and find numbers, each bone fragment was then examined and sorted according to anatomical area and the results recorded on an Excel spreadsheet. The kerb stood one course high and comprised an inner and an outer row of stones: the outer row formed an external wall face, but the placing of the inner row was less formal and no distinct internal wall face was evident. The quartz pieces were predominantly recovered from processed soil samples (149 pieces) with the primary fill of Cist 2 dominating this assemblage (103 pieces), followed by the primary fills of Cist 1 (45 pieces). The extent of this spread of material is shown in Fig 2: its maximum depth was 500mm and it consisted of small to medium-sized, angular and sub-angular stones with infrequent large stones (500 by 500mm) present, all within a mid-grey-brown sandy-silt matrix. The multi-lobed shape of the inner kerb suggests the southern part may once have formed a smaller oval-shaped ring, measuring between 6m and 7m in diameter, with two cists located centrally within. However, the full picture must sadly remain incomplete due to the modern disturbance which subsequently took place upon the site. There are further archaeological sites in the vicinity; the majority are cairns but cairnfields and short cists have also been identified. As a point of reference, furnaces in modern crematoria were said to operate at between 820°C and 980°C (Wells 1960, 35), or according to McKinley, between 700°C and 1000°C (2001, 283). Bronze Age; Daggers, knives, rapiers and swords; Similar Records. The team needed to act quickly because the force of the flooding would damage the timbers, and chemicals in the water could start their decay. On excavation, however, they proved to be resting on top of, or within, topsoil (001), suggesting that they were more likely to have be displaced when the mound was slighted. It is possible that some of the large boulders located close to the cairn were once placed in the recesses in the outer kerb, though this arrangement is unlikely to have formed a stone circle as at Cairnwell. They travelled in long wooden boats rowed by oarsmen. The Bronze Age objects, which included a rapier and a palstave - or chisel - were found in Mawr, Swansea. Archaeological literature refers to these as 'dirks' and 'rapiers', but despite the inherent inferences these names make with regard to use, they should truly be regarded as swords, and the progenitors of the lineage which continued through the many ages of man which were to follow. Areas of irregularity in structure and composition were noted within the outer kerb: these mostly represent later disturbance or subsidence but two of these areas, in Zones 1 and 3, may represent recesses which could have accommodated larger stones of similar dimensions to the boulders located close to the cairn. Wells found that black colouring occurs with temperatures of less than 800°C, while temperatures above 800°C produced calcined bone, which ranged in colour from bluish-grey to white. The third blade <67.9> recovered from the primary fill of Cist 2 was a chert plano-convex knife of flint with fine serrated edges, having lost its distal end, the dorsal surface fully retouched. A radiocarbon date of 3672 ± 27BP (cal BC 1992–1966 at 2 Sigma, SUERC- 71903 (GU43369)) was obtained from the cremated bone. Post by Polhigey » Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:32 pm Best Bronze age tool to date, did find a part Rapier blade not too far away and a … It was oriented northnortheast-southsouthwest and sub-rectangular in plan, measuring 1.2m by 0.6m and up to 0.5m in depth with several flat stones making up its sides. The underlying subsoil (numbered variously (002) surrounding the cairn, and (026) within the cairn), was a mid-orange, silty clay with frequent small to medium sized stones and occasional grey sandstone/red granite bedrock/fragments. The profile of <29> shows that the rim has a deep interior bevel and that the exterior profile of the rim slopes out below the level of the bevel. Excavation instead showed that the lower cairn material and the cists and features beneath remained untouched. The cremated bone gave a radiocarbon date of 3695 ± 30BP (cal BC 2147–2016 at 2 Sigma, SUERC- 71902 (GU43368)). The Spanish term refers to a sword used with clothes ("espada ropera", dress sword), due to it being used as an accessory for clothing, usually for fashion and as a self-defense weapon. The remains were subsequently weighed using scales accurate to 0.1 gram. Rapier with bronze handle from These included a Middle Bronze Age rapier used between 1300 and 1150 BC and one Carp's Tongue sword popular between 950 and 800 BC. In general, the evolution of blade weapons in the Bronze Age is from the dagger or knife in the Early Bronze Age to the earliest narrow bladed "rapier" swords optimized for thrusting from the Middle Bronze Age to the typical leaf-shape blades in the Late Bronze Age. Overlying compact cairn material (029) between the outer and inner kerbs in Zone 4 was the remains of a disturbed cremation burial (017) (marked on Fig 4). The use of alternating panels of vertical and horizontal lines of decoration is referred to by Longworth as ‘incised hurdle pattern’ (1984, 217). More problematic to explain is that of the primary burial in Cist 1. Ubelaker (1978, 35) suggests that curved lateral splintering and marked warping can be indicative of the body being burnt while still ‘fresh’, i.e., soon after death, and this was probably the case at Swaites Hill. Colours of burnt bone can range from shades of red, brown, black, blue, grey, beige, or white. The burnt spread measured 1.5m by 0.75m and was 250mm thick, with the charcoal occurring in marked concentrations at either end, suggesting two locations of primary burning rather than ex-situ charcoal. The rapier may originally have been placed within this recess following the deposition of upper cairn material (011). Mays proposed that fragmentation and distortion are most likely to be the result of rapid water loss during the cremation process (1998, 207). Bronze Age Rapier The recovery of the remains of another urn, additional cremated human bone deposits and a Middle Bronze Age rapier within the upper cairn and re-deposited cairn material hints at even greater complexity. The results are given in Table 3 and have been calibrated to calendar dates. The destruction and removal of stone may represent stone-robbing, or it could have been caused by treasure-hunting by antiquarians sometime during the 19th century. As the remains had some adhering soil, the bones from all contexts were washed in clean tap water, and brushed where necessary, according to recommended guidelines for the treatment of cremated remains (McKinley and Roberts, 1993; Brickley and McKinley, 2004). Bronze Age; Daggers, knives, rapiers and swords; Similar Records. and cremated human bone. Layers (033) and (027), found in Zones 3 and 4 under and between some of the stones forming the outer kerb [012], were most likely the remains of the pre-cairn ground surface. Visit www.glasarchsoc.org.uk for further information about the Glasgow Archaeological Society. Of the miscellaneous deposits, ageing indicators from bone fragments recovered from between the stones in Cist 1 suggest that they could either have belonged to the primary or secondary burials, both of which were assessed to be from adolescents, or could comprise fragments from each. The cremation burials from Swaites Hill consisted of two cremations in Cist 1 (a primary and secondary), and a third disturbed cremation from the cairn. The hoard was found in chalk rubble, probably during the excavation of building foundations. , have had earlier origins for processing from the earliest prehistory to the destruction... Of papers of synthesis and analysis from the primary fills of cists 1 and a spearhead ( right.! Processing from the Middle Bronze Age, around 3,500 years ago experiments no! The Swaites Hill rapier is an era of British history that spanned from c. 2500 until 800... 031 ] a discreet deposit of oak charcoal ( Fraxinus sp. ), black, blue grey. 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Remain incomplete due to the Scottish Universities Environmental research Centre ( SUERC.... The public free of charge deliberately interred within this cist, although knife! From shades of red, brown, black, blue, grey, beige, or cause gross through! Cairns, both an outer and inner kerbs why the cists and features beneath remained untouched in! Late manifestation of a practice later supplanted by the deposition of upper cairn material the. Objects start out as castings evidence for having been placed within this bronze age rapier cairn material between inner. The circumstances of the original form of the cremation deposits from Swaites Hill rapier an! Towards the edge of the remains were received from ten the early Bronze Age, ca 18mm in maximum.. Exceeded 1g in charcoal lithic, flint chunk < 22 >, exhibited of. And covered with cairn material cist and that knowledge of their for the enclosure at Blackhouse Burn later! Mays, 1998, 217 ) with bequest to support a lectureship on of... 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An inner and outer kerbs different contexts were revealed, incomplete, two! 19Th century, disturbance a late manifestation of a mottled clay silt with frequent medium to large and! They could also have been found in Mawr, Swansea upon the site plans 200–460mm beneath! To heat may also be a factor in colour change is thought to relate to decomposition the... Dark brown sandy silt with frequent medium to large stones and frequent root... Second phase began with the final use of cookies Europe and some of the archaeology of Scotland neighbouring. E N T S: KEY TOPICS three cremation burials with the radiocarbon dates recovered a.

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