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Tyne and Wear HER(1378): Newcastle, King's Meadows, bronze spearhead - Details

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Newcastle, King's Meadows, bronze spearhead



Armour and Weapons




Bronze Age


In 1889 Canon Greenwell lectured on "ancient British implements" dredged from the Tyne, some of which were by then in his collection, later to go to the British Museum. The objects included three spearheads, of which this one had previously been in R. Blair's possession, and which had been recovered from the Tyne at King's Meadows Island. The object, 240 mm long, was described as, "A pegged, socketed spearhead with lunate openings. Socket has lozenge- shaped section. Point bent". Heslop suggests that the metalwork at King's Meadows was a deliberate votive deposition. The River Tyne was a major arterial route inland and a possible boundary between tribal groupings, and appears to have been the focus of ceremonial activity by communities gathering here from considerable distances. There is a recurring pattern in the Bronze Age for metalwork deposition in watery places. The concentration of objects around the small island of King's Meadows has parallels at Runnymede on the Thames.




<< HER 1378 >> W. Greenwell, 1889, Ancient British Implements of Bronze etc. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle, 2, III (for 1887-88), p. 309 W. Greenwell in W. Page, ed. 1905, Early Man, Victoria County History, Durham, I, p. 207 and photo opp. p. 206 P. Brewis, 1907, Exhibited, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle, 3, II (for 1905-06), opp. p. 194 no. 2 M.H. Dodds, 1930, Prehistoric Period, Northumberland County History, XIII, pp. 20, 22, fig. no. 19 R. Miket, 1984, The Prehistory of Tyne and Wear, p. 39, and p. 42 fig. 12, no. 11 W. Greenwell & W.P. Brewis, 1909, The Origin, Evolution and Classification of the Bronze Spear-head... Archaeologia, Vol. LXI, Part 2, pl. lxxv fig. 59; D.H. Heslop, Newcastle and Gateshead before AD 1080 in Diana Newton and AJ Pollard, 2009, Newcastle and Gateshead before 1700, pages 1-22

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