Ludlow (again) - 05.09.10

posted Sep 7, 2010, 8:24 AM by A Standish   [ updated Sep 10, 2010, 12:21 PM ]
Oh didn't we have an interesting day
the day we went back to Ludlow.
It was cloudy and grey,
Rained most of the day
and all for about £7 you know.

and on the way back
we bemoaned our good luck
of finds to cheer us homeward.

but Katy* knew of the m42
as the wheels sped round!

[* Katy is the name given to the satnav]

Well, the day started in with heavy rain and the clouds never lifted all day. The only finds of note that were handed into the FLO for recording by the NARC were buckles and lead tokens. However the rally did produce a bronze age axehead fragment, a few roman coins, one hammered coin, dagger chapes,  - but lots of lead tokens. We thoroughly enjoyed the day particularly when you read the report below that demonstrates quite clearly how detectorists and PAS are aiding the history of our land.

The rally report issued by the Shropshire FLO, Peter Reavill and his assistant reads as  follows:-

Rob asked Teresa and I to decide on which we felt was the best, or most important find of the rally yesterday, Sunday. I just wanted to say thank you all for letting us come along. I know some people were a little disappointed that the Iron Age alluded them this time, especially after the last rally, but for us it was really interesting - especially with the flurry of finds at the end - which meant a few of you had to wait around to get your stuff back. Sorry about that and both Teresa and I appreciated that you had a long drive back to your homes - so thank you.

This rally was interesting for a number of reasons:

1. was the lack of the Celtic story, archaeologically not finding something is sometimes as important as finding it so you not finding Iron Age material on the rally fields is important

2. The Roman finds, although few were important, we know the Roman road runs across the edge of the village but this is the first time that Roman material has been found close to the village centre. We recorded no Roman finds last time so the two brooches and the coin are important and suggest at least 3 Romans (always pessimistic) cross the site between 60-120 AD and then again in the later 4th century, between 324-360 AD.

3. All the lead domestic stuff, I now this isn't the most exciting material - but the lead whorls and line weights mean real people living and working nearby - we think this is most likely to be between 1300-1600. There were a few belt mounts found as well as other personal artefacts from dress so people doing things.

4. The lack of hammered coinage still is odd, just a cut half of Henry III so either the people were poor, tight with their money or weren't about in large numbers.

So anyway, I know you want me to say what the best thing was: it is between three artefacts, in no particular order:

A silver button of probable Tudor or early Stuart date (1550-1650 ish AD)

A fragment of Late Bronze Age Axe head (100-800 BC)

A Roman T shaped or Dolphin bow brooch with hinged pin dated to 1st Century (55-100 AD)

In my opinion I think the best artefact found was The Bronze Age Axe Fragment

So why did I choose this, it is broken and battered and what some may call a parti-fact. But it was the oldest object found on the day and also it is really rather rare from Herefordshire. The PAS has only recorded 13 artefacts from Herefordshire dating from the late Bronze Age and only 7 of those are axes or axe fragments (4 of the 7 are from a single hoard so axes are really rather rare). So although it isn't pretty it is probably the most archaeologically significant find of the rally.

I should say though that the button is really fine and in excellent condition being probably the best example that I have seen outside of a museum - it is probably a high status find and very similar to the hooked fasteners we see in this later Elizabethan and Jacobean period. The brooch is also important - this type of hinged dolphin with rolled spring cover is much more common in the central midlands and is rarely seen in Herefordshire and Wales. The most common are the sprung Polden Hill types which seem to be found on most Roman-British sites in Western Britain.

Well done to everybody who recorded their finds

See you next time

Peter (and Teresa)


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