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Rare objects paint a new picture of Bronze Age London

Posted by Hazel Baker on Monday, February 10, 2020 Under: Things to Do in London

Rare objects paint a new picture of Bronze Age London

A total of 453 bronze objects dating between c.900 and c.800 have been discovered in Havering, Greater London. They were uncovered by archaeologists from Archaeological Solutions, as part of a planned excavation.

A pair of terret rings will be on display at the Museum of Docklands’ new exhibition: Havering Hoard: A Bronze Age Mystery. 

What are terret rings?

Terret rings are believed to have been used to prevent the reins of a horse from tangling on carts. 

These are the first Bronze Age examples of their kind ever to be found in the UK Weapons including axe heads, spearheads, fragments of swords, daggers and knives, alongside some other unusual objects rarely found in the UK. A bracelet believed to be from the modern day French/German border was found at the site as well as copper ingots possibly originating from the Alps. These suggest a well-connected society with a community of travellers and traders across Europe.

Andrew Peachey, Specialist in Prehistoric and Roman Pottery at Archaeological Solutions, said: “This excavation, in a well-defined prehistoric settlement, has given us an unparalleled opportunity to consider the actions of individuals and communities and how they viewed, treated and disposed of a valuable commodity.”

The hoard was found buried in four separate parts and is the largest Bronze Age hoard ever discovered in London. It poses questions as to why they were first of all collected and were then buried in such a meticulous manner. The Havering hoard provides a fascinating insight into the beliefs, values and nature of a complex and often enigmatic society.

Kate Sumnall, Curator of Archaeology at the Museum of London, said: “The Havering Hoard contains a wealth of artefacts that is invaluable in deepening our understanding of the people who lived in Bronze Age London. These objects give clues about how this wasn’t an isolated community but rather one that fitted into a much larger cultural group with connections along the Thames Valley and across the Continent.“

You have the chance to share in the mystery of the Havering hoard. Discover what life was like during the Bronze Age, when the land where London now exists was a very different place.

Havering Hoard: A Bronze Age Mystery exhibition opens Friday 3 April until Sunday 1 Nov 2020 1am - 6pm at Museum of London Docklands. Free Entry 

Find out more

All photos (c) David Parry / PA Wire.


In : Things to Do in London 


Tags: "museum of london docklands"  "bronze age"  "havering hoard" 
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