Find Spot record MDR13307 - Bronze shield fragment and spearhead, Elvaston Quarry, Breaston

Type and Period (1)

  • (Middle Bronze Age to Late Bronze Age - 1600 BC to 701 BC)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

In June 1985 a large spearhead, a bronze shield fragment, a human skull and a quantity of animal bone were recovered from the conveyor belt at Tarmac's Elvaston Quarry. The shield fragment, which measures 84mm by 98mm, is decorated with raised concentric ribs alternating with rows of small circular bosses. This decoration is typical of the Yetholm type shield, of c. 1100-700BC. No other fragments of the shield were found, although six months later, in December 1985, a complete bronze shield was found on the conveyor belt. Unfortunately this was stolen while the operative was making a phone call to report the find. The spearhead has been identified as Class IIIa, basal-looped with triangular blade, a type thought to date from c. 1300-1000BC. It is the second largest out of twelve Class IIIa spearheads, basal-looped with triangular blade, that have been recovered from the River Trent. The human skull found with the bronze artefacts is in good condition, while the 61 animal bones are predominantly from ox and red deer, with butchery marks visible on some of the ox bones. The artefacts were recovered as the result of a single pass of the grab, which suggests they were probably deposited together, although this cannot be considered a secure association as the stratigraphy was destroyed in the extraction process. These finds add to the already considerable number of metalwork artefacts that have been recovered from the Trent. The recovery of a human skull with the Elvaston shield and spearhead provides possible evidence of a connection between human burial and high status metalwork deposition in a riverine environment. (1)

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> Article in serial: Davis, R. 2003. 'A bronze shield fragment and spearhead from Elvaston Quarry, Derbyshire', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 123, pp 63-70.



Grid reference SK 4538 3227 (point)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Oct 14 2013 2:32PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.