collection

Archaeology

Our archaeology collection covers all of human history from the very first people in Bucks, around 500,000 years ago up to 1500 AD (more modern items are in the Social History collection). These objects tell the stories of the people who lived here before us – how they lived, what they loved and what they believed. Ranging from beautifully made early stone and bronze tools, through Roman coins, Saxon & Viking weapons, to exquisite medieval jewellery, these objects give us glimpses into their lives.

CURATOR'S HIGHLIGHTS

Dorton Pendant

This tiny (2cm), but beautiful gold pendant has Christian religious images on both sides and dates to around 1450-1500. The very detailed carving shows St Thomas Beckett on one side, and The Annunciation on the other (where the angel Gabriel kneels before the Virgin Mary). In Medieval times, faith was central to most aspects of life, and wearing religious jewellery was one way a person could show their devotion. The background of the pendant was originally very colourful with blue and white enamel, but only traces of it remain.

Ivinghoe Sword

A late Bronze Age sword, dating to around 1000 BC. These swords were the pinnacle of bronze casting technology, and this is one of the best preserved examples ever discovered in Britain. The Bronze Age is the first time in human history that swords are made, and swords are the first objects that are specifically made as weapons to fight other humans, rather than being tools, or for hunting animals. Swords seem to be highly prized in the Bronze Age, and that tells us something about what society may have been like then.

Lenborough Hoard

Discovered in 2014, this is the largest hoard of Anglo Saxon silver coins found in Britain for over 150 years. Over 5000 coins from two kings – Ethelred the Unready and Cnut the Great – were buried about 1035 AD. They tell the story of the forgotten invasion of Britain in 1016, when Cnut became the first Viking king of England. 50 years before the famous invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066, if Cnut’s dynasty had survived, the history of Britain would have been very different indeed.

Treasure

If you have found an archaeological object and want to report it, and get it identified, or think you may have found Treasure (which you are legally required to report), you can find contact details for the Bucks Finds Liaison Officer, and the national Portable Antiquities Scheme here.

 

Archives

Discover Bucks is the standard repository for archives from archaeological fieldwork from Buckinghamshire county. Commercial archaeological units should contact the Keeper of Archaeology for deposit procedures and to obtain notification details.

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