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Tyne and Wear HER(1379): Newcastle, King's Meadows, bronze dagger - Details

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Newcastle, King's Meadows, bronze dagger



Armour and Weapons




Bronze Age


In August, 1882, this dagger was dredged from the Tyne on the north side of the King's Meadows, Elswick. With 2 other daggers, it was for a time in the possession of R. Blair whence it passed to the Greenwell Collection, and so to the British Museum. The object, 334 mm long x 75 mm wide, was described as follows: "Long dagger with ogival blade, damaged at hilt end. The hilt, which has 3 lobes, is offset from the axis of the blade. The 3 rivets are in situ. Broad midrib with one narrow rib at each side; bevelled edges to blade". 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 1379 >> W. Greenwell, 1889, Ancient British Implements of Bronze etc. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle, 2, III (for 1887-88), 309 W. Greenwell in W. Page, ed. 1905, Early Man, Victoria County History, Durham, I, 207 and photo opp. p. 206 P. Brewis, 1907, Exhibited, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle, 3, II (for 1905-06), opp. 194, no. 6 M.H. Dodds, 1930, Prehistoric Period, Northumberland County History, XIII, pp. 19-20, 22, no. 15 R. Miket, 1984, The Prehistory of Tyne and Wear, p. 38, and fig. 11 p. 41, no. 4; 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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