Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Britain's First Brass

Abstract

Stamps on the blade of a sword from the Thames, originally considered to be Anglo-Saxon, now place the sword stylistically in the La Tène II period (late third to early second century BC). X-ray fluorescence tests have shown that the gold-coloured foil covering the stamps consists of 80 per cent copper and 20 per cent zinc, this being the formula for brass. The sword therefore represents the earliest known use of brass in Britain.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Adams D R 1991. The Mines of Llanymynech Hill, Account 14, Shropshire Caving and Mining Club
Bay ley J 1998. ‘The production of brass in antiquity with especial reference to Roman Britain’, in Craddock (ed) 1998, 726
den Boesterd M H P and Hoekstra E 1965. The Bronze Vessels in the Rijksmuseum G. M. Kam at Nijmegen, Nijmegen
Burnett A M, Craddock P T and Preston K 1982. ‘New light on the origin of orichalcum’, in Proceedings of the 9th International Congress of Numismatists, Berne, Sept 1979 (eds Hackens T and Weiller R), Association Internationale des Numismatists Professionels, Publication 6, 263–8, Louvain-la-Neuve
Cowell M R 1977. ‘Energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence analysis of ancient gold alloys’, in X-ray Microfluorescence Analysis Applied to Archaeology (ed Hackens T), PACT 1, Council of Europe, 7685, Strasbourg
Cowell M R 1998. ‘Coin analysis by energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry’, in Metallurgy in Numismatics, IV (eds Oddy W A and Cowell M R), Royal Numismatic Society, Special Publication 30, 448–60, London
Craddock P T 1995. Early Metal Mining and Production, Edinburgh
Craddock P T 1998. ‘Zinc in classical antiquity’, in Craddock (ed) 1998, 1–7
Craddock P T (ed) 1998. 2000 Years of Zinc and Brass, Brit Mus Occas Pap 50, rev edn, London
Craddock P T 2000. ‘Conservative metal alloying traditions’, in Archaeometallurgy in Central Europe III, special issue of Acta Metallurgica Slovaca, 7, 175–83
Craddock P T, Burnett A M and Preston K 1980. ‘Hellenistic copper-base coinage and the origins of brass’, in Scientific Studies in Numismatics (ed Oddy W A), Brit Mus Occas Pap 18, 5364, London
Craddock P T and Werner A E 1991. ‘Metallurgical analyses of the bronzes, Appendix 13.3’, in The Breiddin Hillfort: A Later Prehistoric Settlement in the Welsh Marches (ed Musson C R), CBA Res Rep 76, 205–9, London
Craddock P T, La Niece S and Hook D R 1998a. ‘Brass in the medieval Islamic world’, in Craddock (ed)1998, 73–114
Craddock P T, Freestone I C, Gurjar L K, Middleton A P and Willies L 1998b. ‘Zinc in India’, in Craddock (ed) 1998, 27–72
Craddock P T and Eckstein, K 2003. ‘Production of brass in antiquity by direct reduction’, in Mining and Metal Production through the Ages (eds Craddock P T and Lang J), 208–22, London
Dannheimer H 1975. ‘Zu zwei älteren keltischen Fundstücken aus der Münchner Schotterebene’, Archäologisches Korrespondenzblatt, 5, 5966
Duncan S J and Ganiaris H 1987. ‘Some sulphide corrosion products on copper alloys from London waterfront sites’, in Recent Advances in the Conservation and Analysis of Artifacts (ed Black J), 109–18, London
Fitzpatrick A P 1996. ‘Night and day: the symbolism of astral signs on Later Iron Age anthropomorphic short swords’, Proc Prehist Soc, 62, 373–98
Gunther R Y (ed) 1934. The Greek Herbal of Dioscorides, translated by Goodyer John in 1655, Oxford
Hamilton E G 1996. Technology and Social Change in Belgic Gaul: Copper Working at the Titelberg, Luxembourg, 125 BC-300 AD, MASCA Research Paper in Science and Archaeology 13, Philadelphia
Jackson R P J and Craddock P T 1995. ‘The Ribchester Hoard: a descriptive and technical study’, in Sites and Sights of the Iron Age (ed Raftery B), Oxbow Monogr 56, 75102, Oxford
Jones H L (trans) 1929. Strabo: The Geography VI, Loeb Classical Library, London
Musson C R and Northover J P 1989. ‘Llanymynech hillfort, Powys and Shropshire: observations on construction work 1981’, Montgomeryshire Collect, 77, 1526
Musson C R, Britnell W, Northover J P and Salter C 1992. ‘Excavations and metal-working at Llwyn Bryn-dinas hillfort, Llangedwyn, Clwyd’, Proc Prehist Soc, 58, 265–84
Northover J P 1991. ‘Further comments on the composition of the Breiddin Bronzes, Appendix 13.4’, in The Breiddin Hillfort: A Later Prehistoric Settlement in the Welsh Marches (ed Musson C R), CBA Res Rep 76, 210–18, London
Oddy W A and Meeks N D 1981. ‘Pseudogilding: an example from the Roman period’, MASCA Journal, 1/7, 211–13
Riddle J M 1985. Dioscorides on Pharmacy and Medicine, Austin, Texas
Savory H N 1976. Guide Catalogue of the Early Iron Age Collections, Cardiff
Schleicher K 1974. Geschichte der Stolberger Messing-industrie, Stolberg
Scott D A 2002. Copper and Bronze in Art: Corrosion, Colorants, Conservation, Los Angeles
Spratling M 1966. ‘The date of the Tal-y-Llyn Hoard’, Antiquity, 40, 229–30
Stead I M 1982. ‘The Cerrig-y-Drudion “hanging bowl”’, AntiqJ, 62, 221–34
Tavenor-Perry J 1910. Dinanderie, London
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Antiquaries Journal
  • ISSN: 0003-5815
  • EISSN: 1758-5309
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquaries-journal
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 7 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 304 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.