The Bamburgh Research Project has had some incredible and diverse small finds, and as visitors to the site may know, we like to show them off!
Nicknamed by us as the ‘Bamburgh Beauty’, this intricately worked piece of gold came out of the floatation tank, and caused great excitement when it was discovered in 2011. Made of sheet gold with gold bead trim, small balls of gold have been added, giving the piece a similar look as some of the gold objects from the metalworking building. If you haven’t already seen the excited blog post on it, click here.
There are also several pieces of decorated gold objects. There appears to have been a metal working or scrap recycling facility within the West Ward where these objects were located. If these items were recycled, they could be considerably older than their provisional date of 10th – 12th Century.
Media Supervisor Kirstie’s favourite find is 2009’s bone die. While we have had several bone die from our trenches, we only have one with the circular count marks in the correct order.
We also have a delicately carved jet crucifix from trench 3 in 2009. The Christ figure is demonstrative of late medieval iconography. While it would have been a high status item, it was located in a 13th Century midden feature in the West Ward.
This is our 2nd – 4th Century AD silver and glass bead. It was manufactured in Egypt at a time when silver was more rare than gold, and was discovered in our own Trench 3 in 2009.
This sandstone spindle whorl came out of Trench 3 in 2009. Also known as a loom weight, spindle whorls were used to maintain an even speed when spinning yarn with a spindle and distaff.
An iron blade found in 2009 still has some heavily mineralised remnants of its wooden handle. It is very delicate to the touch.
This copper alloy key from 2009 is small and intricate. It was likely used for something decorative.
An intricate hand-carved bone comb was discovered in the Bowl Hole cemetery in 2004. It is now on display in Bamburgh Castle’s Archaeology Museum.
In 2009 a large hoard of stycas (Roman coins) was uncovered in Trench 3. The clump was carefully excavated, and X-Ray analysis shows no fewer than 77 stycas in the hoard. It is thought that these stycas were being recycled for their metal content within the metalworking building.
This small glass fragment forms part of a glass armlet. Believed to be from the late 1st to early 2nd Century AD, glass jewellery like this was usually made from a recycled Roman vessel.