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Part 2. Transformations of scale

The deposition of miniature weaponry in Iron Age Lincolnshire

Le dépôt d’armement miniature dans le Linconshire à l’Âge du fer
Julia Farley
p. 97-121

Résumés

Cet article considère l’armement miniature comme faisant partie du phénomène plus vaste du dépôt d’objets métalliques dans les tombes de l’Âge de fer dans le Lincolnshire (env. 800 av. J.-C.-50 ap. J.-C.). Une approche qui examine les miniatures en rapport avec les contextes paysagers et sociaux révèle une distinction chronologique et géographique nette entre les dépôts d’armes grandeur nature et leur contrepartie en miniature. Ces changements sont examinés en relation avec les changements sociaux contemporains, tels que le développement des grandes agglomérations, alors que les sociétés de l’Âge de fer tardif du Lincolnshire entretenaient des rapports toujours plus étroits avec le monde classique.

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Texte intégral

1. Introduction

1In the 1970s a metal detectorist working in Lincolnshire made a highly unusual discovery. His finds have only recently been documented by archaeologists and have not yet been published in detail. What he uncovered was a group of over thirty Late Iron Age miniatures, mostly shields, from a site now known as Nettleton Top: some examples are shown in figure 1. This chapter considers these finds in some detail, and attempts to place them in their wider context through a comparison with other Iron Age miniatures, a treatment of the landscape locations of these objects, and an appreciation of their relationship to full-sized Iron Age weaponry from the county of Lincolnshire.

2. The Nettleton Top miniatures

  • 1 www.finds.org.uk. Without Adam Daubney’s assistance and insight, this chapter could not have been w (...)
  • 2 May, 1996, p. 271; Stead, 1998.
  • 3 The Nettleton shields are more similar stylistically to a group from the temple site at Flavier nea (...)

2Just over 30 miniatures are known to have been discovered at Nettleton Top, although it is likely that other finds have gone unreported. The known objects have now been listed on the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) website by the Lincolnshire Finds Liaison Officer, Adam Daubney.1 In total, 22 miniature shields, six spears, four swords, and two model axes were recorded. Such miniatures are rare in Britain, and the presence of so many examples at one site represents something of a concentration. Although isolated examples are also known from other parts of Britain, the only comparable group of Late Iron Age miniatures are those from the Salisbury Hoard, uncovered near Wiltshire in the 1980s.2 This deposit contained 24 miniature shields, including a number of distinctive hide-shaped examples, 46 miniature cauldrons and two miniature socketed axes.3 The miniatures from Salisbury were just a small part of a much larger hoard, which I discuss in more detail below.

  • 4 Daubney, personal communication.
  • 5 E.g. Robinson, 1995; May, 1996, p. 271; Stead, 1998; Kiernan, 2009, p. 3.

3The Nettleton miniatures were all found across a limited area of one field, perhaps representing the ditch or temenos of a sanctuary or shrine.4 Miniatures such as these are thought to date to the Late Iron Age or the earliest part of the Romano-British period (c. 100 BCE-100 CE), although, since all the Nettleton miniatures were surface finds made by metal detectorists, it is difficult to unravel contexts and associations.5

2. 1. Swords and spears

  • 6 Field, Parker Pearson, 2003, p. 174.

4Most of the swords and spearheads were produced using similar techniques, being cut from pieces of copper alloy sheeting. The swords mostly have flat handles, but the spears have rolled shanks at the base that might have formed sockets for wooden shafts. One sword is quite different in design, and may be an example of a miniature currency bar (similar to an example from the Middle Iron Age causeway site at Fiskerton).6

2. 2. Axes

  • 7 Manning, Saunders, 1972.
  • 8 A variety of explanations have been put forward for the presence of miniature socketed axes in Iron (...)

5Two miniature axes are known from the site. One is a model of a hafted axe, complete with handle, while the other (shown in figure 2) is a miniature looped socketed axe head. Although socketed axes were in use in the Iron Age, the form was more common in the Bronze Age.7 Thus the miniature socketed axe may be imitating the form of artefacts in use around a thousand years before the Nettleton miniatures were made and deposited.8

2. 3. Shields

  • 9 See the Celtic Art Database, produced as part of the AHRC-funded ‘Technologies of Enchantment’ proj (...)

6All of the miniature shields are broadly similar in construction, although each piece is unique. They are made from thin sheets of copper alloy, hammered or pressed to give surface decoration. Owing to their fragility, all of the shields have some damage to their edges, but, although none are complete, it is possible to distinguish several different shapes: oval (sometimes with flattened ends), lozenge-shaped, and rectangular. Several features of the miniature shields echo aspects of their full-sized counterparts. It is possible that, like the miniature socketed axe, the miniature shields were intended to imitate the style of older artefact forms, such as the Witham shield, which is now thought to be Middle Iron Age in date (c. 450-100 BCE).9 Like the Witham shield, most of the Nettleton shields have a central boss, and a few also have additional decoration, either incised lines or banding, or pressed dome and crescent motifs. These might represent fittings or mouldings seen on full-sized Iron Age shields. One shield has a raised line along the edge that probably represents shield binding (seen on full-sized shields and on other miniatures known from the Salisbury Hoard). Three of the Nettleton miniatures have rivet holes indicating that they had tiny handles riveted onto their backs, again imitating the design of full-sized shields.

  • 10 Hill, 1997.

7Another interesting set of features to note are the larger holes pierced through several of the shields. This could indicate that they were intentionally damaged prior to deposition, or nailed up as some kind of display. On some of the shields (see figure 2), however, the holes seem to have been carefully punched near one end. This might have allowed the shields to be worn as pendants or attached to clothing. These objects could also have formed part of the ‘toiletry sets’, which come into use in the Late Iron Age: such sets generally included items like scoops, nail clippers, and tweezers, which were sometimes kept together on a small chain.10 Even if the pierced shields were used in another context, the presence of the carefully punched holes suggests that at least some of these objects were not produced solely for deposition, and could in fact have had complex individual biographies before they were left at Nettleton Top.

2. 4. Other finds from Nettleton Top

  • 11 Manning, 1985, 116 (Type 24, fig 29), 119.
  • 12 Field, Parker Pearson, 2003, p. 73; fig. 4.18.2.

8Besides the miniature weapons and axes (the latter could also represent tools), other finds from Nettleton Top include an object that might be a razor or a miniature knife or reaping hook. This object could have been made especially for deposition, since there is no evidence of wear along its edge. If it is indeed a miniature, it could be based on full-sized knife blades known throughout the Iron Age and into the Roman period.11 Alternatively, a Middle Iron Age reaping hook from the river causeway site of Fiskerton is also a fairly close match. In addition, there were two anthropomorphic vessel mounts and two vessel handles in the form of swans’ heads.12 These may well be Romano-British (i.e. after 43 CE), rather than Late Iron Age; like the miniatures, they were unstratified finds without a specific context, so it is impossible to be sure whether they were deposited in direct association with the miniature weapons.

3. Nettleton Top in context

  • 13 Some of the early finds were reported to the late Jeffrey May: May, 1996 p. 271 and Stead, 1998.
  • 14 Willis, Dungworth, 1999, p. 6.

9Nettleton Top is located in the Lincolnshire Wolds, an area of low rounded hills dissected by networks of small, steep valleys. The site occupies a very distinctive position in the landscape, lying on a crest at the highest point of this upland region. At around 150 m above sea level, although a modest hilltop, this is the highest point in the county of Lincolnshire and commands dramatic views across the surrounding landscape. The site had been known locally, especially to metal detectorists, since at least the 1970s.13 Despite this early interest, Nettleton was not investigated by professional archaeologists until the early 1990s, when it lay in the path of a proposed gas pipeline. After some preliminary survey and excavation work,14 the site was deemed to be so important that the pipeline was diverted, and a number of excavations, run by Durham University, have since taken place.

  • 15 May, 1976, p. 7-9.

10The excavations at Nettleton uncovered a series of prehistoric and early Romano-British enclosures. Five Bronze Age barrows are located close to the site and activity on the hilltop continues right through into the Romano-British period, when it became an important road-side settlement. The Roman road was probably also in use earlier as a prehistoric trackway,15 so Late Iron Age Nettleton was a hilltop site with a long history of ritual activity, located immediately adjacent to a very important communication route running north-south along the Wolds.

  • 16 Willis, Dungworth, 1999, p. 3.
  • 17 Two Nauheim derivative brooches and a Langton Down brooch were uncovered during excavation, and a t (...)
  • 18 Willis, Dungworth, 1999, p. 34.
  • 19 Gregory, 1991.

11Steve Willis and David Dungworth, who led the excavations at Nettleton, interpreted the site as an important Late Iron Age centre, occupied from the late first century BCE and continuing into the Roman period. They found evidence for both contemporary settlement and ceremonial or ritual activities, within an area enclosed by ditches that they described as ‘monumental’ in scale.16 The excavations did not produce any more miniatures, but four Late Iron Age brooches were uncovered, along with cosmetic implements: nail cleaners, tweezers and a small spoon, which were found in contexts dating to the Late Iron Age or the Early Roman period.17 Interestingly, an Early Bronze Age flat axe found at the site (which would have been produced 1700-1400 BCE) appears to have been re-deposited over a thousand years later in an Iron Age context. The excavators suggest that some of the other items may also have been intentionally deposited as offerings. For example, three brooches were found in an area that contained unusual gully-like features, which were interpreted as possibly representing bedding rows for hedges.18 Willis draws a parallel between this area and the early phases of the Iron Age ritual site at Thetford, which saw the deposition of large quantities of Iron Age metalwork, and also had large-scale enclosure ditches and densely planted trees that could represent an artificial grove .19

  • 20 Willis, Dungworth, 1999, p. 34.

12Conventional interpretations of the Nettleton Top evidence, taking into account the parallels with Thetford and the distinctive metalwork finds, would see this site as a shrine or temple (albeit associated with what may well have been a fairly high-status settlement) and the miniatures as votive offerings. Whilst it is not the purpose of this chapter to challenge or contradict this model, there are severe limitations to the explanatory potential of such an interpretation, and Willis and Dungworth acknowledge the danger of it becoming a circular argument.20 Instead, it may be more productive to seek to understand the social role of the miniatures at Nettleton, and to consider how the site itself and the activities that took place there were integrated into wider patterns. In order to explore these questions, it will be necessary to broaden the scope of the study area beyond the site of Nettleton itself, and to consider the evidence from Iron Age Lincolnshire (and indeed Britain) as a whole.

  • 21 Bailey, 2005, p. 32.

13The small size of the martial objects from Nettleton holds the key to unraveling their significance. Douglass Bailey has argued that the way in which miniaturisation forces selective representation of the attributes of a full-sized object serves to “[distil] what is normal… and then produces a denser expression of that part of reality”.21 In other words, miniatures are symbolic representations of full-sized objects, which distil many of the qualities and associations of their life-size counterparts. In the case of Iron Age Lincolnshire, the symbolic resource on which most of the miniatures drew was the sphere of weaponry and martial equipment. Thus to understand the significance of these reduced-scale objects, it will be helpful to consider chronological and temporal patterns in the deposition of the full-sized weapons on which their designs were based. In the Early and Middle Iron Age (c. 800-150 BCE), there were well-established traditions involving the deposition of full-sized metalwork, often weaponry, in rivers. These practices predate the production and deposition of miniature weaponry in the Late Iron Age (beginning around 150 BCE). I will argue here that the latter tradition needs to be understood as emerging out of the importance of the former. Accordingly, the three following sections set out information first on the wider study area (the county of Lincolnshire), second on the evidence for the deposition of full-sized weaponry in this region, and third on the occurrence of Iron Age miniatures. Brief consideration will also be given to how the Lincolnshire evidence fits into wider patterns of deposition across Britain.

4. The Study Area: Lincolnshire

  • 22 May, 1976, p. 179.
  • 23 For information in Lincolnshire’s prehistoric routeways, see May, 1976, p. 7-9.

14Figure 2 shows the location of the study area, Lincolnshire (including the administrative districts of North and North East Lincolnshire), and some of its major landscape zones. Two scarps run North-South through Lincolnshire. The westerly scarp, the Lincoln Edge, is a line of hills rarely more than 70 m high, running almost unbroken down the length of the county. Prehistoric routeways, most notably the Jurassic Way, trace the line of this ridge. These tracks would have facilitated trade and movement into southern Britain, but also north across the Humber River into Yorkshire. There are two gaps along the Lincoln Edge, which each provide “a natural line of communication”22 between Lincolnshire’s coastal districts and the Trent Valley to the West: one is where the River Witham cuts through at Lincoln, and the other is on the River Slea at Ancaster. East of the Lincoln Edge, across the low, flat Clay Vale, which broadens into the region known as the Wash, rise the Lincolnshire Wolds. The Wolds are a region of rolling hills, reaching heights of 150 m. Again, there is evidence here for networks of prehistoric trackways generally running North-South along the high ground.23

  • 24 Field, Parker Pearson, 2003, p. 158-59.
  • 25 Simmons, 1980.

15Eastern Lincolnshire is a very watery environment, dominated by fen and marshland, so settlement clusters on the higher ground and waterborne transport would have been important over long distances.24 The gaps at Lincoln and Ancaster were key nodes in transport networks. This importance is reflected in the fact that these areas show fairly dense settlement, particularly in the later Iron Age. B.B. Simmons has suggested that higher sea levels in the Iron Age might have rendered Lindsey, an area consisting of the Wolds and the segment of the Lincoln Edge north of the Lincoln Gap, a virtual island at some times of the year.25 This region does appear to have quite a distinctive identity, particularly in the Late Iron Age. The importance of the Middle Iron Age causeway at Fiskerton, near Lincoln (see below), may have stemmed from its position as one of the main approaches to this ‘island’ of Lindsey.

5. Iron Age weaponry depositions

  • 26 See e.g. Hill, 2007.
  • 27 E.g. Bradley, 1990; Farley, 2008; Farley, forthcoming; Fontijn, 2002; Garrow et al., 2008.
  • 28 Fontijn, 2002, p. 33-35.
  • 29 Hingley, 1990, 2005.

16Within this landscape, which was relatively intensively settled in the Iron Age26, acts of deposition were an important means through which people engaged with their surroundings, and constructed both personal identities and local identities of place. These practices were one way in which the social and cosmological structure of the landscape was manifested.27 David Fontijn has argued that deposition was a symbolic act through which people, objects, and places were brought together and transformed, and social identities and the significance of objects and the landscape were mutually constructed.28 By choosing to deposit certain objects in particular places, people made statements about the relationships between these conceptual categories. Thus, the deposition of metalwork on Iron Age sites formed a field of discourse within which particular objects and actions may have stood as metaphors for wider social concerns, mapping these onto the physical and cosmological landscape. Other scholars have highlighted the roles of particular objects in this conceptual framework, for example Richard Hingley has commented on the close association between currency bars and liminal or boundary zones.29 Here I will focus on the evidence for the deposition of weaponry, both full-sized and miniature.

5. 1. Full-sized weaponry

  • 30 Stead, 2006, sword nos. 102 and 109.
  • 31 Field, Parker Pearson, 2003, p. 174.

17There are 38 recorded finds of full-sized weaponry from Lincolnshire, including swords, short swords, spears and shields, although many of these finds are of incomplete items. The findspots of these objects are shown in figure 3. Figure 5 compares the proportions of different artefact types (including both complete and incomplete examples), revealing a predominance of offensive weaponry (such as swords and spears) rather than defensive shields. Of those objects that can be assigned a secure date, all but two (a pair of swords dredged from the River Witham near Bardney Abbey in the eighteenth century)30 have been assigned dates in the Early and Middle Iron Age. The most accurately dated Iron Age weaponry finds from Lincolnshire are those from the excavations at Fiskerton, most of which date to the Early La Tène period, centring on the third century BCE.31

  • 32 Field, Parker Pearson, 2003.

18Find locations for full-sized weapons are restricted almost entirely to the River Witham, as can be seen in figure 3. The Witham is a major river, running through what is now Lincoln, and in the Iron Age this river would have formed the boundary between the mainland and what would then have been the ‘island’ of Lindsey (see figure 1). Those weapons with more specific provenance information are reported to have come from one of three prehistoric causeways, or crossing-points; west to east, these causeways are Stamp End, Fiskerton, and Barlings Eau. Fiskerton is by far the best known (and only excavated) example.32

  • 33 Jope, 1971.

19The main Fiskerton causeway consists of a double row of wooden posts running a distance of around 160 m from the north bank of the River Witham out into the river itself. Dendrochronological analysis of the causeway timbers places the construction dates squarely in the Middle Iron Age, starting around 450 and continuing to around 290 BCE, although the site may have continued in use for some decades after this. The weaponry finds from Fiskerton, which appear to have been dropped into the water close to or underneath the causeway timbers, include six swords, one with a coral-inlaid anthropoid hilt, and eleven spearheads, as well as an array of bronze fittings, many of which probably derive from scabbards or shields. There were also a large number of bone points that may have been used as spearheads. These well provenanced artefacts complement earlier discoveries, such as the Witham Shield and an anthropoid hilted dagger, which were supposedly dredged from the River Witham in the nineteenth century.33

  • 34 See Evans, 2001, for the Ely causeways and Pryor, 2005, for Flag Fen.
  • 35 See Bradley, 1990 for more information on La Tène and other prehistoric watery deposition sites in (...)

20These Iron Age causeway deposits have roots in earlier Bronze Age practices. Several Bronze Age sites in eastern England (including the causeways leading out to the Isle of Ely, and the Flag Fen causeway in the Cambridgeshire fens) have provided evidence for the deposition of martial metalwork at important crossing points.34 Similar sites exist across much of northern Europe (for example at the famous Middle Iron Age site of La Tène in Switzerland, where almost two and a half thousand artefacts, many of them martial objects, were placed into the water beneath two bridges along the edge of Lake Neuchâtel).35 Within Britain, Iron Age river deposits are also known from the Thames, Lark, and Nene Rivers. Thus the finds from Fiskerton can be understood as part of a broader tradition of depositing martial metalwork in watery locations.

  • 36 Bradley, 1984; Bradley, 1990; Fitzpatrick, 1984.
  • 37 Field, Parker Pearson, 2003, p. 179.

21Both Richard Bradley and Andrew Fitzpatrick have highlighted the fact that prehistoric river deposits (such as those from the Thames and Witham Rivers) often occurred at what appear to have been major political boundaries.36 Naomi Field and Mike Parker Pearson, interpreting the assemblage from Fiskerton, concurred that “the significance of Fiskerton as a religious site can be examined in terms of its context as a liminal place”.37 This causeway was a ‘liminal’ landscape location in several senses, constituting a crossing point between mainland Britain and the ‘island’ of Lindsey, and also being a marginal, marshy area unsuitable for permanent settlement. This stretch of the river also appears to have been a freshwater pool in a tidal zone of the River Witham, created by a complex network of braided water channels.

  • 38 Spearhead: Lincolnshire Historic Environment Record (HER) no. 32860; shield binding: PAS no. NLM574 (...)
  • 39 North Lincolnshire Sites and Monuments Record (SMR) no. 15520.
  • 40 Lincolnshire HER no. 61820.

22In all of Lincolnshire, there are just four examples of full-sized Iron Age military equipment from landscape locations other than the River Witham. Three of these are stray finds: a spearhead, a small fragment of shield binding and a sword.38 The dating for the spearhead and sword are not secure, and the shield-binding fragment will also be omitted from further discussion since, as an isolated find, it seems more likely to represent a casual loss than the meaningful deposition of a full piece of military equipment. These three possible finds have been omitted from the location map in figure 3. Nevertheless, it should be noted that one of these stray finds, the sword from Alkborough in North Lincolnshire, which is recorded only as ‘Celtic’39 in style, was uncovered in a field containing two rectilinear ditched enclosures which have produced Iron Age pottery during fieldwalking. Although the date and context of the Alkborough sword is far from secure, there is another better recorded example of a Middle Iron Age sword in a settlement context. During a commercial excavation at Brauncewell Quarry, an iron short sword dating from the second or third century BCE (identical to the examples known from the River Witham) was uncovered in the lower fill of a pit marking what may have been the entrance to a roundhouse in a Middle to Late Iron Age enclosure, associated with a multiple-ditched linear boundary.40

  • 41 The information on Fiskerton is taken from Field and Parker Pearson, 2003 and the information on Br (...)

23Table 1 details the landscape locations of Brauncewell and the Fiskerton causeway, the two sites that have produced well recorded finds of military equipment.41 The Alkborough sword and the spearhead have been omitted because of questions over their dating, and the shield binding because it is unlikely to have been intentionally deposited. The other causeways on the River Witham are known only from vague antiquarian reports, so their precise landscape contexts, unfortunately, remain unknown.

  • 42 James, 2007, p. 163.

24Apart from the Brauncewell find, it seems to have been extremely rare to deposit weapons on occupational sites, perhaps because it was not socially acceptable to do so. Simon James argues that while “weapons such as swords may well have acquired multiple additional meanings, conveying authority, status, or mystical power to transform the world… their primary function and significance remained the power to maim and kill human beings”.42 Thus, weapons may have been bound up with powerful, transgressive identities, qualities and acts that had to be ‘separated out’ both in the landscape and perhaps socially. This may have been particularly true of the offensive weaponry (such as swords and spears) which make up the bulk of the river finds. In light of all of this, we can perhaps understand causeways such as Fiskerton as occupying a boundary zone where the social rules that largely prevented the deposition of metalwork in more ‘domestic’ contexts broke down.

  • 43 Evans, Hodder, 2006, p. 213; Williams, 1993, p. 99.

25Yet people could and did break the rules which excluded weapons from settlement sites, as described above at Brauncewell, and possibly also in the case of the ‘Celtic’ sword from Alkborough. There are parallels from outside of Lincolnshire: a dagger from the interior of a roundhouse at Haddenum in Cambridgeshire and a short sword from an eavesdrip gully at Pennyland in Buckinghamshire.43 To break the normal taboos surrounding the deposition of weapons on settlements must have been a very powerful statement. What might it have meant to deposit a sword in such a context? Did the swords from Brauncewell, Alkborough, Haddenum, and Pennyland still carry connotations of violent transformations and liminality? Do these deposits represent a ‘bringing home’ of the ‘warrior’ identity that may have been associated with Iron Age weaponry? Or were these apparently ‘domestic’ landscape zones being constructed as boundaries in their own right? The Brauncewell sword is from the threshold of a building, in an enclosure associated with a multiple-ditched linear feature, although a broader scale investigation of the local landscape would be needed to ascertain for certain whether this was a significant regional boundary, or only one of local importance. Whatever the particular contextual meanings of these settlement sword finds, it is clear that people could manipulate (and sometimes break) the normal rules governing depositional practices in order to make unusual statements. The swords from Brauncewell and other comparable sites appear to indicate instances where familiar elements have been combined in unfamiliar ways in order to say something new and unusual about a particular location or the people who lived there. This recombination of familiar elements also occurred in the Late Iron Age (after c. 100 BCE), when the symbolism of metalwork deposition was deployed in a new context: the use of miniatures in settlement centres.

  • 44 Sharples, 1991.
  • 45 Joy, 2011.

26Besides the two swords dredged from the River Witham near Bardney Abbey (which are possibly Late Iron Age in date), there are no full-sized Late Iron Age weapons known from Lincolnshire. This most likely represents changes in depositional practices rather than a general absence of weapons in Late Iron Age society, since it is likely that some form of violence was endemic throughout the period.44 There are changes across Britain in the ways in which swords are deposited in the Late Iron Age period. A recent study by Jody Joy suggests that, before 150 BCE, swords were deposited in a limited number of contexts dominated by burials (such as those in East Yorkshire) and, in particular, watery contexts such as the Thames and Witham Rivers.45 After 150 BCE, full size weapons largely disappear from the archaeological record in Lincolnshire. In other parts of Britain they continue to be deposited, but in a broader range of contexts, with lakes, bogs, fens, and settlement sites becoming more significant foci of deposition. Swords continue to be deposited in the Lark and Nene Rivers but deposition in the Thames and Witham Rivers decreases. No decorated swords dating to later than 50 BCE are known to have been deposited anywhere in Southeastern England. Joy interprets this as representing the end of a longstanding tradition of deposition of decorative martial metalwork in the Thames and the surrounding region. Thus, it is apparent that across Britain there were important changes taking place in depositional practices, particularly where these concerned martial metalwork.

27It is clear from the Nettleton Top assemblage that the absence of full-sized weapons from Lincolnshire’s Late Iron Age archaeological record does not imply that the symbolic referent of a sword or a shield was no longer considered useful or relevant. Local communities were still drawing on these symbols, but they were doing so in a new way; people were using miniatures, and they were depositing them on settlement sites. These miniatures should not be viewed as direct proxies for full size weapons, but they would have drawn on the same symbolism and multiple layers of meaning that imbued the deposition of full size weapons with such power in preceding centuries.

5. 2. Miniature Weaponry

28Iron Age ‘votive’ miniatures often took the form of martial equipment such as shields and spears. A total of 39 are known from Lincolnshire, with the vast majority of these (32) coming from Nettleton Top. Most are shields, but spears and swords are also known. Whilst deposition of full-sized weaponry appears to have been primarily an Early to Middle Iron Age phenomenon in Lincolnshire, miniatures are known exclusively from Late Iron Age and Early Romano-British contexts.

  • 46 E.g. May, 1996, p. 638.
  • 47 The information in Table 2 is distilled from May 1976, 1984, and 1996, and combined with informatio (...)

29Unlike full-sized weapons, miniatures seem to have been considered ‘safe’ to deposit on settlement sites. All four of the sites in Lincolnshire that have produced miniature weaponry (Nettleton Top, Dragonby, Kirmington, and Sleaford) are thought to represent contemporary settlements and, except at Kirmington, this has been confirmed through excavation.46 Table 2 summarises the landscape locations of these finds.47

  • 48 Daubney, personal communication.
  • 49 May, 1996, p. 271.
  • 50 Farley, 2008.

30Unfortunately all of the miniatures were stray finds located by metal detectorists or during archaeological survey work, so there is little contextual information available. Nevertheless, it is possible to deduce a few basic facts. Kirmington and Sleaford have produced other finds suggesting that some of the activity at these sites may have been of a ritual nature. As at Nettleton Top, the early Roman date of associated finds at these sites hints at a date for the shields from the latest Iron Age or even early Romano-British periods. Associated finds at Sleaford include a horse and rider brooch and a miniature axe,48 whereas at Kirmington the shields were found in association with part of a votive stool, two figurines of Mars, and a votive plaque. The miniature shields from Dragonby were not found in direct association with other artefacts. No concentrated area of ritual activity is known at Dragonby, but Jeffrey May suggests the possibility that other, as yet unexcavated, areas of the site might produce more votive material.49 All of these sites have produced large quantities of metalwork finds such as brooches, coins, and horse gear, although not in direct association with miniatures.50

  • 51 E.g. May, 1984.
  • 52 May, 1996.
  • 53 May, 1996, p. 640.
  • 54 Haselgrove, 1997, p. 66; May, 1984.
  • 55 Haselgrove, 1997, p. 66.

31The four Late Iron Age settlements that have produced miniature weaponry belong to a group of sites that emerged in Lincolnshire in the Late Iron Age, and represent a fairly dramatic departure from earlier patterns of settlement. Their locations are shown in figure 4. Scholars sometimes refer to these sites as ‘agglomerated’ or ‘complex ditched settlements’.51 Some (such as Dragonby)52 appear to reflect an increased density of occupation compared to earlier sites, and are an intense focus of activity over long periods-sometimes several centuries. We should, however, be wary of extrapolating assumptions from the small number of excavations that have taken place, since many of these settlements are known only from crop marks or surface finds of pottery and metalwork. These may in fact have been an extremely diverse group of sites, and they certainly occupy a wide variety of landscape locations. Some, like Nettleton, are located on high ground, others such as Dragonby are located in elevated positions but avoid the crests of hills, whilst others including Old Sleaford and Kirmington occupy low ground positions near valley bottoms. All are located along the Wolds or the Lincoln Edge, and May uses this fact to suggest that these could have been a series of regional centres at the top of a settlement hierarchy, each controlling a hinterland of upland pasture.53 Other explanations focus on the ritual significance of their locations. As Colin Haselgrove and May have pointed out, many of these sites are located at high points along the crest of the Wolds (e.g. Nettleton Top, Ulceby Cross, Ludford), while others are associated with river sources (e.g. Ludford, Owmby) or crossing points (e.g. Lincoln, Old Winteringham, South Ferriby).54 These special locations may have made these sites of “considerable ideological or cosmological significance... reserved as sacred”.55 Nettleton, for example, was obviously a significant place in the landscape before it became an Iron Age centre, with several round barrows on the same hilltop, a Bronze Age palisade running across the field along the crest of the hill, and other earlier prehistoric features.

  • 56 May, 1984.
  • 57 Stead, 1991.

32May also points out that many of these centres are along suspected transport and communication routes.56 All are located in the area of North Lincolnshire that would have formed the ‘island’ of Lindsey, or in the Ancaster Gap, where the River Slea would probably still have been navigable inland. What unites all of these site locations is an emphasis on regional and inter-regional connectivity. As is clear from figure 6, all are located either at strategically important river crossing points, or along major prehistoric trackways, and frequently at hubs where several of these routes connect. This pattern also holds for comparable sites in neighbouring regions. For example Snettisham in East Anglia, where large hoards of torcs were deposited in the Late Iron Age, is situated on a highly visible hilltop overlooking the sea (at what may have been an important crossing point on the Wash) and is located along a major route.57

  • 58 Willis, 2006.
  • 59 Hill, 1997.
  • 60 Hill, 1997, p. 103.
  • 61 Hill, 2007; Leins, 2008.
  • 62 See Creighton, 2000, chapter 7, for more on indigenous coinage in Romano-British temples, and Leins (...)
  • 63 Hunter, 2007, p. 289.

33At the same time that these Late Iron Age centres were appearing, around 100 BCE, there were a number of other changes in contemporary lifestyles. This period sees a major shift in pottery styles: Gallo-Belgic ware came into widespread use in the East Midlands, largely replacing the local scored ware.58 The new style consciously imitated continental material, and may reflect local communities establishing (or seeking to establish) a presence in far-reaching social networks. There are also changes in bodily adornment and presentation. This is the time when the toiletry sets mentioned above first make their way into the archaeological record. There is also an explosion in the number of brooch finds—the local manifestation of a wider phenomenon that J.D. Hill has termed the ‘fibula event horizon’.59 Hill argues that in the Late Iron Age across much of Britain, and particularly in the south, personal identities became more unstable and contested. At this time, “new strategies of representing the body and … changing understandings of the self” emerged.60 This is evidenced, among other things, by an increase in the deposition of brooches and other items of personal adornment. The Late Iron Age also sees the minting of the first British coins, which may have marked new kinds of exchange taking place, and the formation of new types of social relationship. The appearance of these objects in the archaeological record also allows us an insight into the social networks through which such objects and innovations were moving.61 Coins themselves are similar in some ways to the miniature objects discussed here, and were important components of ‘votive’ assemblages, both in temple complexes and outdoor shrines.62 All of this is part of a wider trend in the immediate pre-conquest period, which saw the creation of “a changed concept of the individual, with more marking of individual and group identities through material culture”.63 This pattern seems to have included an emphasis on small portable metalwork items such as coins, personal ornaments, horse gear, and miniatures, all of which played an important role in Late Iron Age depositional practices.

34Together, these strands of evidence tell us that, in Late Iron Age Lincolnshire, as in the rest of Britain, people were starting to think about how they presented themselves, and to present themselves in new ways. People were also living in new ways, as evidenced by the rise of centres such as Nettleton and Dragonby. The deposition of miniatures on some of these sites is closely integrated with the wider transformations that occurred as British communities became more closely entwined with the Roman world.

35I suggested above that full-sized weapons might have had transgressive, dangerous associations that generally made them unsuitable for deposition on settlement sites. Yet miniature weapons, which must have carried some of the same symbolism as their full-sized counterparts, are woven into the emerging Late Iron Age ways of life: they are deposited on new kinds of settlement, where depositional acts are being integrated with daily life in a new way. The next section explores the significance of this transformation in scale and attempts to address the question of why miniatures were selected and produced for deposition on Late Iron Age occupational sites, while (at least in Lincolnshire) full-sized weapons continued to be excluded.

6. The meanings of miniaturisation

  • 64 Bailey, 2005, p. 34.

36Miniatures intrigue us. In his book on prehistoric Neolithic figurines, Bailey has argued that by manipulating scale we affect people’s perceptions, giving them “a sense of being drawn into another world”.64 Due to the small size of the objects, this is likely to involve a close, tactile encounter; holding these three-dimensional miniatures is the only way to experience them fully, encouraging the viewer to actively engage with the object, drawing inferences and extrapolating detail. This could have been an important part of the use of miniatures in sanctuary spaces, where it would have been desirable to create a sense of separation from the everyday.

  • 65 Bailey, 2005, p. 33.

37Although the effect of abstracting and compressing the world into a reduced scale can be unsettling, it also creates a sense of control over the object-made-miniature, changing the balance of power in the person-object interaction. Bailey writes that “miniatures have important effects on the person seeing or handling an object .... Miniaturism empowers the spectator. It allows physical control over a homologue of a thing .... Literally, it makes the world manageable.... Furthermore, miniaturism comforts the spectator. By providing ... physical control over a thing, miniaturism suggests security”.65 This may have been particularly important in the case of military miniature equipment, which, unlike its full-sized counterparts, appears to have been considered acceptable for incorporation into settlement sites. These miniatures embody an old and presumably powerful symbol in a new way that is more controllable, and hence perhaps safer.

38This trend is also reflected in the choice of artefact types used in deposition. The charts in figure 5 reveal that the settlement deposits of Late Iron Age miniatures reverse the ratio of offensive to defensive weaponry seen in the River Witham. Whilst with full-sized objects there is a predominance of offensive weaponry (such as swords and spears), among miniatures defensive objects (shields) are far more common than offensive weapons. Perhaps the trend towards a preference for defensive objects is a part of the process of transforming these symbolically charged objects into something more relevant and appropriate for Late Iron Age communities.

  • 66 Including the shields, at least one of the axes, and possibly the object which may represent a mini (...)
  • 67 Although excavations at the site near Salisbury did not fully resolve the issues of context, a numb (...)

39The symbolism of weaponry deposition itself may have harked back to Early and Middle Iron Age practices such as those that took place at the Fiskerton Causeway. There is also additional evidence that Iron Age people were using miniature objects in their construction of an imagined past. As discussed above, several of the miniatures deposited at Nettleton Top reference the style of older artefacts.66 There is also the possibility that a real Bronze Age axe was buried at the site in the Iron Age. There are echoes here of the other major find of Iron Age miniatures in Britain, the Salisbury Hoard. As at Nettleton, the Salisbury Hoard included miniature socketed axes which may have been imitations of Bronze Age forms, but this hoard also included many actual Bronze Age artefacts. In total, the hoard from Salisbury contained almost 600 objects, spanning around 2400 years. Bronze Age objects, including axes and razors, were deposited alongside Iron Age artefacts, and it seems likely that the whole group was buried together late in the Iron Age, probably not long after 200 BCE. There are also parallels between the location of the Salisbury Hoard and the site at Nettleton Top. Both were located on hillsides commanding views over the surrounding landscape, and may have been close to contemporary settlement sites as well as earlier monuments.67

  • 68 Hingley, 2009; there is also a Bronze Age axe from the Late Iron Age hilltop shrine at Hallaton (in (...)

40In addition to the Salisbury Hoard, Hingley has discussed eleven more sites in England and Wales where Bronze Age objects have been uncovered in Iron Age contexts, frequently at sites associated with earlier prehistoric monuments.68 He argues that these objects may have played an important role in commemorative practices that imbued particular places with historical and ancestral significance. Nettleton, with its Bronze Age barrows, fits well with this broader tradition. The people who produced and used the Nettleton miniatures were living in a very different way to earlier generations, but through the use of miniatures and ancient artefacts they found a way to refer to and remember the past, on their own terms.

7. Conclusions

41This chapter has illustrated the possibility that there was a certain structure to Iron Age depositional practices in Lincolnshire, but also that the rules could, at least in some instances, be manipulated to make new and unusual statements. Examples include the incorporation of a Middle Iron Age sword into a settlement site at Brauncewell, and the Late Iron Age use of miniatures, rather than full-sized weapons. In the latter case, the small size of the objects in question appears to have been of paramount importance.

  • 69 Farley, 2008; Farley, forthcoming.
  • 70 Hutcheson, 2004, p. 92.
  • 71 E.g. see Creighton, 2000, and Bradley, 1990 (chapter 4) for the role of coins and other small porta (...)

42The evidence presented here for the deposition of weaponry suggests that, in Late Iron Age Lincolnshire, there was a shift away from deposition in liminal landscape zones, towards an integration of deposition with other settlement activities. This change in the landscape zones selected for offerings is also seen in several other artefact types, including brooches, coins, and horse gear, and the evidence from the coinage in particular dates this shift to around the end of the first century BCE.69 Natasha Hutcheson has made a comparable argument for Late Iron Age Norfolk, suggesting that “from the second century BCE through into the late first century CE and beyond, it would seem that the ritual or votive activity that was taking place across the landscape became centralised and physically ‘bounded’”.70 In Lincolnshire, this shift was accompanied by a new emphasis on high points in the landscape rather than low, wet places, as foci for deposition. Again, this pattern is paralleled elsewhere in eastern England; Late Iron Age hilltop shrines at Hallaton (in Leicestershire) and Snettisham (Norfolk) also saw the deposition of large quantities of metalwork. The material from these sites demonstrates an increasing preference for the deposition of small, portable objects such as miniatures, personal ornaments, and coins, which is a trend also seen in other parts of Britain.71 It is only with weaponry, however, that we see the striking transformation in scale, which has been discussed above. In this case, miniaturisation appears to have been vital in rendering these powerful symbols acceptable for deposition on settlement sites.

43The Late Iron Age changes are typified by the differences between the sites of Fiskerton and Nettleton Top, which show distinctive and contrasting landscape locations and find assemblages. Fiskerton was a Middle Iron Age causeway site straddling what was probably an important political boundary, whereas Nettleton was a Late Iron Age hilltop sanctuary and settlement site located at the highest point of the Wolds, with dramatic views across the surrounding landscape, at a point along a probable prehistoric trackway. The deposition of full-sized weapons at Fiskerton will have emphasised the powerful, transgressive qualities of these objects and the people who owned them, and perhaps also constructed the causeway itself as a physical and social boundary zone. In the Late Iron Age, deposition continued to be an important social practice, but the context for these offerings shifted towards settlement centres, such as Nettleton. The deposition of metalwork including miniatures, coins, brooches, and horse gear must have been one way in which these sites were infused with social significance and specific local identities as ‘special places’ in the landscape. This was also a way for the inhabitants to construct their own identities and emphasise their social networks and contacts. It appears that full size weapons were no longer acceptable offerings in this new context, but that communities still wished to draw on the rich symbolism of the long held tradition of martial metalwork deposition. Miniaturisation made it possible to distil the essential elements of this earlier tradition into a more manageable form.

  • 72 See Bradley, 1990, 2005.
  • 73 May, 1996, p. 271. For Thetford see Gregory, 1991; for Hayling Island see King, Soffe, 2007; for Ha (...)
  • 74 Gregory, 1991; Bradley, 2005, p.165-90.

44Rather than being part of an increased separation of ritual and ‘domestic’ sites in the Late Iron Age, as has sometimes been argued, the use of miniatures seems in fact to reflect an increasing integration of depositional acts with other settlement-based activities.72 It should be noted that, even at sites such as Nettleton, however, deposition was probably not part of every day domestic practices. Many of the finds from Lincolnshire’s Late Iron Age centres are unstratified. This lack of archaeological context blurs the relationships between ritual and domestic life at these sites, and, as May has argued for Dragonby, settlement-based deposition was quite possibly restricted to specific ‘sanctuary’ areas or buildings, as at other contemporary sites elsewhere in Britain, such as Thetford, Hayling Island, and Hallaton.73 Excavations at Thetford (in Norfolk), demonstrated that, although the ritual activity was initially located in the heart of a settlement site, domestic activities were gradually distanced from the sanctuary itself.74 Nevertheless, even where ritual activity was spatially separated from day-to-day activities, settlement sites were frequently located in close proximity to sanctuaries (for example, at Hallaton, excavation has shown evidence for a contemporary settlement down slope from the hilltop shrine). This close association of settlement functions and votive deposits does suggest a shift away from Early and Middle Iron Age patterns of deposition in liminal landscape zones.

  • 75 Farley, 2008; Farley, forthcoming.

45Although the landscape locations of the Late Iron Age centres themselves are highly varied, there is an overarching focus on regional and inter-regional connections and access to transport networks. The focus on these places, rather than on boundaries and liminal zones, may suggest that Late Iron Age societies were less concerned with defining the edges of their communities than their predecessors, and instead placed a greater emphasis on looking for ways to reach and connect with a broad and diverse network of social contacts.75 Full-sized weapons, with their associations of power and aggression, were less suited to a role in this new form of settlement-based deposition. Miniaturisation allowed these powerful symbols to be deployed in a ‘safer’ and more controlled form, appropriate to occupational sites. When we place the Nettleton miniatures into this wider context, it becomes clear that the incorporation of miniature weaponry into Late Iron Age depositional practices was just one aspect of a series of major social changes. These transformations accompanied the new and very different Late Iron Age lifestyles that started to appear as Lincolnshire, along with the rest of Britain, was drawn into a closer orbit with the Roman world in the first century BCE.

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Haselgrove, C., 1997, Iron Age Brooch Deposition and Chronology, in A. Gwilt and C. Haselgrove (eds.), Reconstructing Iron Age Societies, Oxford, p. 51-72.

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Annexe

Table 1. The landscape locations of well provenanced Iron Age weapon finds from Lincolnshire

Site

Weaponry finds

Landscape location

Fiskerton causeway

TF 0485 7121

6 swords,
11 spearheads, shield and scabbard fittings; large number of bone spearheads

A wooden causeway on the north bank of the Witham River, at the point where the river leaves the narrow valley cut through the limestone hills and expands into a four-mile wide channel. Environmental analysis suggests that, when the causeway was first erected, this was an area of reed swamp, with alder and oak woodlands nearby. Over time, the area gradually became drier; pollen samples suggest the presence of grazed meadowland at the edge of open water. Although the Witham was tidal even further upstream than Fiskerton, the beetle and fish remains recovered suggest that this may have been an area of freshwater pools.

Brauncewell

TF 0326 5204

Iron short sword

A Middle to Late Iron Age enclosed farmstead, associated with a multiple-ditched linear boundary. The site is located on the eastern slope of the limestone hills that form the Lincoln Edge, with views East across the fens.

Table 2. The landscape locations of miniature military equipment from Lincolnshire

Area/ Site

Total no. of miniature Weapons

Landscape location

Nettleton Top

TF 131 976

32 (4 swords,
6 spears, 22 shields; 2 miniature axes may be interpreted as weapons or tools).

A Late Iron Age settlement and sanctuary site, situated at the highest point in the Wolds. Nettleton is located along the High Street, a prehistoric trackway running North-South along the western spine of the Wolds.

Dragonby

SE 907 139

2 shields

A Late Iron Age ‘complex ditch settlement’ of large extent (around 8 ha), showing evidence for fairly dense occupation. Although there is some evidence for substantially earlier occupation, the main period of settlement begins around 100 BCE. This site occupies an elevated position on the saddle between the headwaters of the Winterton and Bottesford Becks… just below the limestone scarp commonly supposed to have carried the prehistoric Jurassic Way”. (May, 1996, p. 634)

Kirmington

TA 100 110

5 shields

Little is known about this site. The evidence consists mainly of a scatter of material from ploughed fields spread over an area of around 20 ha. Aerial photographs reveal a Roman fort and cropmarks of unknown date. The site is located on low ground, on the floor of an East-West gap through the Wolds.

Sleaford

TF 082 460

1 shield

The shield was found close to the Late Iron Age settlement of Old Sleaford, a Late Iron Age ‘complex ditch settlement’ of large extent, which shows evidence for fairly dense occupation, and specialist activities such as coin production. Sleaford is located east of the Ancaster gap, with access to the fens, and through to the Trent Valley. The site straddles Mareham Lane, at the point where it crosses the River Slea, which may have been navigable up to this point.

Figure 1. Location of sites mentioned in the text

Figure 1. Location of sites mentioned in the text

Drawing: author

Figure 2. Some of the miniatures from Nettleton Top

Figure 2. Some of the miniatures from Nettleton Top

Images courtesy of the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS)

Figure 3. Location of the study area, and landscape zones in the county of Lincolnshire

Figure 3. Location of the study area, and landscape zones in the county of Lincolnshire

Drawing: author, based on maps produced by May, 1976, and Field, Parker Pearson, 2003

Figure 4. The distribution of full-sized and miniature weaponry in Lincolnshire

Figure 4. The distribution of full-sized and miniature weaponry in Lincolnshire

Abbreviations: D= Dragonby, K= Kirmington, N= Nettleton Top, OS= Old Sleaford

Drawing: author.

Figure 5. The proportions of different categories of full-sized and miniature weaponry known from Lincolnshire

Figure 5. The proportions of different categories of full-sized and miniature weaponry known from Lincolnshire

Figure 6. The location of Lincolnshire’s Late Iron Age centres

Figure 6. The location of Lincolnshire’s Late Iron Age centres

Abbreviations: A= Ancaster, D= Dragonby, H= Horncastle, K= Kirmington, L= Lincoln, Ld= Ludford, N= Nettleton Top, O= Owmby, OS= Old Sleaford, U= Ulceby, SF= South Ferriby, W= Old Winteringham

Drawing: author, based on maps produced by May, 1976, 1984

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Notes

1 www.finds.org.uk. Without Adam Daubney’s assistance and insight, this chapter could not have been written. The descriptions of the artefacts which follow are based on his observations, although any mistakes, of course, remain my own.

2 May, 1996, p. 271; Stead, 1998.

3 The Nettleton shields are more similar stylistically to a group from the temple site at Flavier near Mouzon in the Ardennes department in northern France, dated to the late 1st century BCE, see Tisserand, 1981 and Kiernan, 2009, p. 47-63.

4 Daubney, personal communication.

5 E.g. Robinson, 1995; May, 1996, p. 271; Stead, 1998; Kiernan, 2009, p. 3.

6 Field, Parker Pearson, 2003, p. 174.

7 Manning, Saunders, 1972.

8 A variety of explanations have been put forward for the presence of miniature socketed axes in Iron Age and Early Roman contexts. Stead, 1979, commenting on a miniature axe pendant from a Middle Iron Age Arras burial suggested that it might be a copy of contemporary forms, but in his 1998 work on the Salisbury Hoard, where a number of miniature socketed axes were deposited alongside Bronze Age originals, he raises the possibility that these, and by extension also the Arras pendant, could be Iron Age copies of Bronze Age objects (Stead, 1998, p. 117). The latter interpretation is also supported by Robinson, 1995, and Hingley, 2009.

9 See the Celtic Art Database, produced as part of the AHRC-funded ‘Technologies of Enchantment’ project led by Oxford University (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/research_projects/complete_projects/technologies_of_enchantment/the_celtic_art_database.aspx)

10 Hill, 1997.

11 Manning, 1985, 116 (Type 24, fig 29), 119.

12 Field, Parker Pearson, 2003, p. 73; fig. 4.18.2.

13 Some of the early finds were reported to the late Jeffrey May: May, 1996 p. 271 and Stead, 1998.

14 Willis, Dungworth, 1999, p. 6.

15 May, 1976, p. 7-9.

16 Willis, Dungworth, 1999, p. 3.

17 Two Nauheim derivative brooches and a Langton Down brooch were uncovered during excavation, and a third Nauheim derivative was discovered during survey work undertaken as part of the same research project Willis, Dungworth, 1999, p. 19-20; Willis, 2002, p. 33.

18 Willis, Dungworth, 1999, p. 34.

19 Gregory, 1991.

20 Willis, Dungworth, 1999, p. 34.

21 Bailey, 2005, p. 32.

22 May, 1976, p. 179.

23 For information in Lincolnshire’s prehistoric routeways, see May, 1976, p. 7-9.

24 Field, Parker Pearson, 2003, p. 158-59.

25 Simmons, 1980.

26 See e.g. Hill, 2007.

27 E.g. Bradley, 1990; Farley, 2008; Farley, forthcoming; Fontijn, 2002; Garrow et al., 2008.

28 Fontijn, 2002, p. 33-35.

29 Hingley, 1990, 2005.

30 Stead, 2006, sword nos. 102 and 109.

31 Field, Parker Pearson, 2003, p. 174.

32 Field, Parker Pearson, 2003.

33 Jope, 1971.

34 See Evans, 2001, for the Ely causeways and Pryor, 2005, for Flag Fen.

35 See Bradley, 1990 for more information on La Tène and other prehistoric watery deposition sites in northern Europe.

36 Bradley, 1984; Bradley, 1990; Fitzpatrick, 1984.

37 Field, Parker Pearson, 2003, p. 179.

38 Spearhead: Lincolnshire Historic Environment Record (HER) no. 32860; shield binding: PAS no. NLM5740; sword: North Lincolnshire HER no. 15520.

39 North Lincolnshire Sites and Monuments Record (SMR) no. 15520.

40 Lincolnshire HER no. 61820.

41 The information on Fiskerton is taken from Field and Parker Pearson, 2003 and the information on Brauncewell from documents held at the Lincolnshire SMR, see monument no. 61821.

42 James, 2007, p. 163.

43 Evans, Hodder, 2006, p. 213; Williams, 1993, p. 99.

44 Sharples, 1991.

45 Joy, 2011.

46 E.g. May, 1996, p. 638.

47 The information in Table 2 is distilled from May 1976, 1984, and 1996, and combined with information on Old Sleaford taken from Elsdon, Jones, 1997.

48 Daubney, personal communication.

49 May, 1996, p. 271.

50 Farley, 2008.

51 E.g. May, 1984.

52 May, 1996.

53 May, 1996, p. 640.

54 Haselgrove, 1997, p. 66; May, 1984.

55 Haselgrove, 1997, p. 66.

56 May, 1984.

57 Stead, 1991.

58 Willis, 2006.

59 Hill, 1997.

60 Hill, 1997, p. 103.

61 Hill, 2007; Leins, 2008.

62 See Creighton, 2000, chapter 7, for more on indigenous coinage in Romano-British temples, and Leins, 2007, on the deposition of Iron Age coins at the open air shrine near Hallaton, Leicestershire.

63 Hunter, 2007, p. 289.

64 Bailey, 2005, p. 34.

65 Bailey, 2005, p. 33.

66 Including the shields, at least one of the axes, and possibly the object which may represent a miniature reaping hook all seem to imitate the forms of Bronze Age or Early/Middle Iron Age artefacts.

67 Although excavations at the site near Salisbury did not fully resolve the issues of context, a number of nearby pits led Stead to suggest that the hoard may have been buried in the midst of a settlement site, (although it was not clear whether settlement activities were contemporary with the hoard or whether the site had been abandoned by this time) see Stead, 1998, chapter 4. There are five Bronze Age barrows in the vicinity of Nettleton Top, and a curving ditch near the location of the Salisbury hoard may represent the remains of a Bronze Age round barrow.

68 Hingley, 2009; there is also a Bronze Age axe from the Late Iron Age hilltop shrine at Hallaton (in Leicestershire) that may have been redeposited in an Iron Age context.

69 Farley, 2008; Farley, forthcoming.

70 Hutcheson, 2004, p. 92.

71 E.g. see Creighton, 2000, and Bradley, 1990 (chapter 4) for the role of coins and other small portable metalwork objects in Late Iron Age sanctuary sites in southern England (such as Hayling Island).

72 See Bradley, 1990, 2005.

73 May, 1996, p. 271. For Thetford see Gregory, 1991; for Hayling Island see King, Soffe, 2007; for Hallaton see Score, 2006.

74 Gregory, 1991; Bradley, 2005, p.165-90.

75 Farley, 2008; Farley, forthcoming.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1. Location of sites mentioned in the text
Crédits Drawing: author
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pallas/docannexe/image/2108/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 112k
Titre Figure 2. Some of the miniatures from Nettleton Top
Crédits Images courtesy of the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pallas/docannexe/image/2108/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 180k
Titre Figure 3. Location of the study area, and landscape zones in the county of Lincolnshire
Crédits Drawing: author, based on maps produced by May, 1976, and Field, Parker Pearson, 2003
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pallas/docannexe/image/2108/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 452k
Titre Figure 4. The distribution of full-sized and miniature weaponry in Lincolnshire
Légende Abbreviations: D= Dragonby, K= Kirmington, N= Nettleton Top, OS= Old Sleaford
Crédits Drawing: author.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pallas/docannexe/image/2108/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 428k
Titre Figure 5. The proportions of different categories of full-sized and miniature weaponry known from Lincolnshire
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pallas/docannexe/image/2108/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 12k
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pallas/docannexe/image/2108/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 8,0k
Titre Figure 6. The location of Lincolnshire’s Late Iron Age centres
Légende Abbreviations: A= Ancaster, D= Dragonby, H= Horncastle, K= Kirmington, L= Lincoln, Ld= Ludford, N= Nettleton Top, O= Owmby, OS= Old Sleaford, U= Ulceby, SF= South Ferriby, W= Old Winteringham
Crédits Drawing: author, based on maps produced by May, 1976, 1984
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pallas/docannexe/image/2108/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 503k
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Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Julia Farley, « The deposition of miniature weaponry in Iron Age Lincolnshire », Pallas, 86 | 2011, 97-121.

Référence électronique

Julia Farley, « The deposition of miniature weaponry in Iron Age Lincolnshire », Pallas [En ligne], 86 | 2011, mis en ligne le 30 octobre 2011, consulté le 18 décembre 2017. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/pallas/2108 ; DOI : 10.4000/pallas.2108

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Auteur

Julia Farley

Doctoral research student
University of Leicester
julia_farley@hotmail.com

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Droits d’auteur

Licence Creative Commons
Pallas – Revue d'études antiques est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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