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Celtic Helmet, British Museum

Celtic Helmet, British Museum


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Celtic iron age horned helmet , British Museum.

A helmet for a chieftain or votive object for the Thames, Celtic, river goddess?

Tamesis :A Brythonic Goddess, also known as Temesia, Temesis: Dark Flow

Tamesis is a hypothetical Brythonic Celtic goddess derived from the name of the river Thames, several Welsh rivers and the river Scheldt (originally Tamise) of Antwerp. the Netherlands. In Celtic times, all rivers had patron deities and the Thames would be no different. The name of the goddess can be re-constructed as 'Tamesis' goddess of flooding rivers.

Tamesis is a hypothetical goddess based on the assumption that the Thames once had a patron goddess. Based on the English and Cymric names of the river (Thames and Tafwys, respectively) an attempt has been made to derive the original Brythonic form which is though to be something like Tamesis or Temesis which might make the deity of the river Temesia/Tamesia. This is a name that is also preserved in the French name for the Scheldt river of Antwerp (the Tamise).

Tamesis' name is etymologically related to the name of the flood-plain god Temavus and can be derived from the reconstructed proto-Celtic lexical elements: *temeno- (dark) and *si-l-e/o- (drip, flow). Thus Tamesis is the 'Dark Flow'. The dark flow being the waters that would burst the banks of the Thames in winter to inundate the flood plains beyond.

The same etymology also lies behind the names of the rivers Taf, Teifi, Tywi (which are derived from the same Cymric root as Tafwys) and the Teme. These all being large waterways liable to frequent flooding. A similar etymology also lies behind the name of the goddess Temusio.

This 'helmet' was dredged from the River Thames at Waterloo Bridge in the early 1860s. It is the only Iron Age helmet to have ever been found in southern England, and it is the only Iron Age helmet with horns ever to have been found anywhere in Europe. Horns were often a symbol of the gods in different parts of the ancient world. This might suggest the person who wore this was a special person, or that the helmet was made for a god to wear. Like the Deal Crown, this was more of a symbolic head-dress than actual protection for the head in battle. The person who wore the helmet would need a modern hat size of 7.

Like many other objects, especially weapons, this helmet was found in the River Thames. These include the Battersea Shield, which was also made for conspicuous display rather than use in war.

The helmet is made from sheet bronze pieces held together with many carefully placed bronze rivets. It is decorated with the later Celtic La Tène style art used in Britain between 250 and 50 BC. The repoussé decoration is repeated on the back and the front. Originally, the bronze helmet would have been a shining polished bronze colour, not the dull green colour it is today. It was also once decorated with studs of bright red glass. The decoration is similar to that on the Snettisham Great Torc.

S. James and V. Rigby, Britain and the Celtic Iron Age (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)

I.M. Stead, Celtic art in Britain before the romans (London, The British Museum Press, 1987, revised edition 1997)

"The whole race is madly fond of war, high spirited and quick to battle, but otherwise straightforward and not of evil character." - Strabo on the Celts


Sutton Hoo Helmet Bronze Sculpture

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Exclusive to the British Museum, a bronze sculpture inspired by the Sutton Hoo helmet, an icon of the early medieval period.

This reproduction is hand-sculpted from bronze by the artist Peter Lyell of the Bradshaw Foundation, a society committed to the preservation of rock art. The sculpture forms part of an edition limited to 250 pieces.

About the Sutton Hoo Helmet:

The helmet was discovered at Sutton Hoo, an important archaeological site in Suffolk, England. The original, as shown in the third image, dates to the early 7 th century and comprises of an iron cap, neck guard, cheek pieces and a face mask featuring panels decorated with animals and heroic scenes of warriors.

The face-mask is the helmet's most remarkable feature. It works as a visual puzzle, with two possible "solutions". The first is of a human face, comprising eye-sockets, eyebrows, moustache, mouth and a nose. The copper alloy eyebrows are inlaid with silver wire and tiny garnets. Each ends in a gilded boar's head - a symbol of strength and courage appropriate for a warrior. The second "solution" is of a bird or dragon flying upwards. Its tail is formed by the moustache, its body by the nose, and its wings by the eyebrows. Its head extends from between the wings, and lies nose-to-nose with another animal head at the end of a low iron crest that runs over the helmet's cap.

This replica will make a striking home ornament.

  • Product Code: CMCR48600
  • Product Weight: 0.902 Kg
  • Dimensions: H16.5 x W8 x L9 cm
  • Brand: British Museum
  • Material: Bronze
  • Details: Hand-sculpted by the Artist Peter Lyell Robinson of The Bradshaw Foundation
  • Postage Weight: 1.11 Kg

Exclusive to the British Museum, a bronze sculpture inspired by the Sutton Hoo helmet, an icon of the early medieval period.

This reproduction is hand-sculpted from bronze by the artist Peter Lyell of the Bradshaw Foundation, a society committed to the preservation of rock art. The sculpture forms part of an edition limited to 250 pieces.

About the Sutton Hoo Helmet:

The helmet was discovered at Sutton Hoo, an important archaeological site in Suffolk, England. The original, as shown in the third image, dates to the early 7 th century and comprises of an iron cap, neck guard, cheek pieces and a face mask featuring panels decorated with animals and heroic scenes of warriors.

The face-mask is the helmet's most remarkable feature. It works as a visual puzzle, with two possible "solutions". The first is of a human face, comprising eye-sockets, eyebrows, moustache, mouth and a nose. The copper alloy eyebrows are inlaid with silver wire and tiny garnets. Each ends in a gilded boar's head - a symbol of strength and courage appropriate for a warrior. The second "solution" is of a bird or dragon flying upwards. Its tail is formed by the moustache, its body by the nose, and its wings by the eyebrows. Its head extends from between the wings, and lies nose-to-nose with another animal head at the end of a low iron crest that runs over the helmet's cap.


Contents

While the Hawaiians did not wear hats, during times of combat the Ali'i chiefs would wear specially created wicker helmets that have been likened to the classic Greek helmets, and also coincidentally bear a resemblance to the headdress worn by Ladakh Buddhist religious musicians. While the question has been posed if the influence is from the Spanish, the tradition comes from the northern coast of New Ireland. [5] The design for mahiole is a basketry frame cap with a central crest running from the center of the forehead to the nape of the neck. However the variation in the design is considerable with the colour and arrangement of the feather patterns differing and the crest varying in height and thickness. A number of museums have numerous examples in different designs and stages of preservation. A related Hawaiian term Oki Mahiole means a haircut where a strip of hair is left on the head. [2] The image of the Hawaiian god Kū-ka-ili-moku is sometimes presented with a similar shaped head. [6]

The helmets are constructed on a basket type construction which gives a light and strong frame. The frame is decorated usually with feathers obtained from local birds although there have been variations which have used human hair instead. [7] The plant used to make the baskets is Freycinetia arborea, a plant often used to make basketware. [8] In addition to Freycinetia arborea the makers also used fibre from the Touchardia latifolia plant [9] which is a type of nettle. Touchardia latifolia was used to create string or thread to tie the feathers to the basketry.

The colouring was achieved using different types of feathers. The black and yellow came from a bird called the Moho or ʻOʻo in Hawaiian. There were four varieties of this bird. The last type became extinct in 1987 with the probable cause being disease. Black feathers were also sourced from the bird called the Mamo which is also now extinct. The distinctive red feathers came from the 'I'iwi and the ʻApapane. Both species are still moderately common birds in Hawaii. Although birds were exploited for their feathers the effect on the population is thought to be minimal. [10] The birds were not killed but were caught by specialist bird catchers, a few feathers harvested and then the birds were released. [11]

Tens of thousands of feathers were required for each mahiole. A small bundle of feathers was gathered and tied before being tied into the framework. Bundles were tied in close proximity to form a uniform covering of the surface of the mahiole. [12]

When Captain James Cook visited Hawaii on 26 January 1778 he was received by a high chief called Kalaniʻōpuʻu. At the end of the meeting Kalaniʻōpuʻu placed the feathered helmet and cloak he had been wearing on Cook. Kalaniʻōpuʻu also laid several other cloaks at Cook's feet as well as four large pigs and other offerings of food. Much of the material from Cook's voyages including the helmet and cloak ended up in the collection of Sir Ashton Lever. He exhibited them in his museum, initially called the Holophusikon and later the Leverian Museum. [4] It was while at this museum that Cook's mahiole and cloak were borrowed by Johann Zoffany in the 1790s and included in his painting of the Death of Cook. [4]

Lever went bankrupt and his collection was disposed of by public lottery. The collection was obtained by James Parkinson who continued to exhibit it. He eventually sold the collection in 1806 in 8,000 separate sales. (The British Museum failed to bid on these items as Sir Joseph Banks had advised them that there was nothing of value.). [4] The mahiole and cloak were purchased by the collector William Bullock who exhibited them in his own museum until 1819 when he also sold his collection. The mahiole and cloak were purchased by Charles Winn and they remained in his family until 1912, when Charles Winn’s grandson, the Second Baron St Oswald, gave them to the Dominion of New Zealand. They are now in the collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu Edit

The Bernice P. Bishop Museum in Honolulu has a 200-year-old mahiole and matching cloak. This bright red and yellow mahiole was given to the king of Kauaʻi, Kaumualiʻi, when he became a vassal to Kamehameha I in 1810, uniting all the islands into the Kingdom of Hawaii. [13]

British Museum, London Edit

The British Museum has seven of these helmets. [7] [9] [14] The large red one pictured was obtained from the collection of Sir Joseph Banks. Banks was a rich polymath who was particularly interested in botany. He sailed with Captain Cook on his first journey of exploration and continued to keep in contact with Cook's further explorations. It is speculated that this helmet may have belonged to Cook's second in command, Charles Clerke. [14] Clerke's collections were left to Joseph Banks following Clerke's death on Cook's third voyage. At the time of his death Clerke was captain of the vessel following Cook's death.

A second helmet differs in overall design to the first in that it has concentric bands of yellow and black against an overall red background. A hat of this design was recorded by John Webber who was Captain Cook's official artist. [9] The British Museum also holds an example without feathers which shows how the framework was constructed. [15]

Museum of Ethnology, Vienna Edit

The Museum of Ethnology in Vienna obtained some of its oldest exhibits from the Leverian Museum sale of 1806. [16] Baron Leopold von Fichtel purchased a number of items for his museum in Vienna. [17]

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington Edit

The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa has four mahiole in its collection. Two were gifts of Lord St Oswald in 1912. [18] The other two were purchased in 1948 by the New Zealand Government from William Ockelford Oldman, a collector and dealer in ethnographic antiquities. [19] The British Museum, The Smithsonian and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa believe that one of the helmets and its matching cloak were those placed on Cook by the Hawaiian chief Kalani’ōpu’u. [14] [18] [20] The particular helmet and cloak in question are similar to those depicted in Zoffany's painting.

The feathered helmet from the British Museum was chosen to be one of the items featured in the radio series A History of the World in 100 Objects. The series started in 2010 and was created in a partnership between the BBC and the British Museum. [21]

Preceded by
86: Akan Drum
A History of the World in 100 Objects
Object 87
Succeeded by
88: North American buckskin map

Cook's mahiole and cloak are featured in the mini-documentary television series Tales from Te Papa filmed in 2009. The series was created in a partnership between TVNZ and Te Papa [11]


Celtic Helmet, British Museum - History

The Anglo-Saxon period in Britain spanned six centuries, and although it is unfairly reductive to characterise it purely as a time of war, it is undoubtedly true that regular clashes between well-equipped armies peppered the period and dictated the convoluted path taken from locally identifying post-Roman communities to a coherent united England. The scale of Anglo-Saxon armies continues to be debated, and it is not entirely clear how well equipped they were, but archaeological discoveries in recent decades have provided abundant examples of war-gear – especially weapons – to inform our image of Anglo-Saxon warriors. Such gear is most abundant from the early period (5-7th centuries) thanks to grave goods from the ultimately doomed furnished-burial rite, but even from these centuries, that most evocative item of war-gear, the helmet, is exquisitely rare. We just don’t have many examples. There’s a bigger problem though we don’t even know how many examples we have. Almost all running totals are wrong.

The relatively short supply of Anglo-Saxon helmets might be disappointing to reenactors, book cover artists and historic drama costume departments, but it’s not all that surprising. Helmets are surprisingly rare in general. Even Roman helmets are unaccountably rare finds, especially considering the reach and longevity of the empire whose army peaked at around half a million, well equipped soldiers spread across Europe, western Asia and North Africa. The rarity of helmets (and other armour) in the archaeological record can for the most part be explained by the not-so-new concept of recycling an old, broken or rusty helmet would always have represented a significant mass of valuable iron which could be reworked into new items prior to relatively recent times with reasonably abundant supply of industrially produced metals, the recycling of such material would have always been worthwhile. As such, at least with respect to Anglo-Saxon helmets (and other large iron items) the only ones which survive for us to examine are those which were accidentally lost, hidden and never retrieved, or in most cases deliberately given-up, by the living, during funerary rites. That’s the more important and more boring matter dealt with. But I didn’t start writing this to wrestle with difficult and impactful questions concerning the availability of Anglo-Saxon military equipment I’d much rather quibble over accounting. So let me explain why everyone’s got the count of Anglo-Saxon helmets wrong.

How Many Helmets?

Depending on which book you’re reading, there are either three, four, five, or six Anglo-Saxon helmets. This is determined by how recent the source is, and/or whether the author has bothered to verify this factoid before copying it wholesale from another publication. There are a number of other helmets which orbit these “official” ones but are typically not included because their provenance or identity cannot be verified. There’s also the murky question of what makes something “Anglo-Saxon” – and given we can’t even agree on that when it comes to the culture as a whole or any people within it, it’s a can of worms when generic items of approximately early medieval-looking iron turn up out of context. There is no “carbon-dating” for metal, and although analytical techniques (particularly X-Ray Refraction / XRF) can establish whether an item has the chemical makeup consistent with medieval (but also other) wrought irons, it is currently not possible to narrow objects down to particular time-periods or sources. The few verified examples are quite varied in construction, and there is no especially distinctive quirk to the way in which Anglo-Saxon smiths riveted pieces of iron together, compared to other cultures, so subtract the characteristically Anglo-Saxon but presumably rare decoration seen on the Sutton Hoo or Coppergate helms, and Anglo-Saxon helms sit in continuity with those of other periods and cultures. As such, context is critical.

Here’s the official corpus up to 2009, in order of their excavation (but not identification) for reasons which will be discussed further down, after 2009 things become a bit of a mess.

• The Benty Grange Helmet. Monyash, Derbyshire. 1848.

• The Sutton Hoo Helmet. Mound 1, Sutton Hoo. Woodbridge, Suffolk. 1939.

• The Coppergate Helmet. Coppergate, York. 1982.

The best preserved of the five, the Coppergate Helm was discovered during excavations in preparation for the building of the Coppergate Shopping Centre in York, when a mechanical digger hit a hard object which turned out to be the helmet, causing some damage. It was in a wood-lined pit approx. 1.4m long, together with a seemingly random collection of other objects including a weaving-sword, churn dasher, and various other small pieces of various materials. From the context it seemed this highly valuable object had been hidden, in a place otherwise used to throw rubbish, with the intention of being retrieved later.

The helmet is of well-worked iron embellished with cast brass decoration, including wonderful interlace on the long outward-jutting nasal, eyebrows terminating in boar heads (more atrophied than those of Sutton Hoo) and a crossing, concave crest bearing a Latin, Christian prayer inscription, terminating in a single dragon-head between the eyebrows. The bowl is comprised of a broad rectangular nose-to-nape band supplemented by lateral pieces, and then a quartered arrangement of infill plates, unlike the half-dome arrangement of Sutton Hoo this approach produces a somewhat higher and “squarer” dome which is shared by the remarkably similar, though earlier, Wollaston helmet. The deep cheek-pieces which would have protected the vulnerable blood vessels of the upper throat, hang from complex but undisguised iron hinges, while the neck is protected, uniquely (at least in England) by a hanging curtain of forge-welded mail. As with Sutton Hoo, the Coppergate Helm could be the subject of an entire article itself (and indeed, the seminal work on the subject (The Anglian Helmet from 16-22 Coppergate, Dominic Tweddle, 1992) remains the best starting-point for any study of early Medieval helmets).

The helmet was unquestionably a princely possession manufactured in 8th century Northumbria. The history of Northumbria in the 8th-9th centuries was extremely turbulent, and it is tempting, if fanciful, to imagine this helmet (an heirloom and badge of Northumbrian royal status) being squirreled away, out of sight, around the time of the Viking capture of York in 866.

• The Wollaston / Pioneer Helmet, Wollaston, Northamptonshire. 1997.

This helmet was discovered in March 1997 during excavations on ground adjacent to the Nene flood plain and 250m from a small group of Bronze Age barrows, where quarrying (by Pioneer Aggregates) was due to begin. What was discovered was a single burial of a young male, beneath what was probably a burial-mound long since ploughed away. The burial contained a limited set of skeletal remains, the helmet, three iron buckles, a small knife, two copper alloy clothing hooks, a bronze hanging-bowl (with inlaid millefiori escutcheon), a mysterious assortment of short iron rods and tubes, and a patternwedled sword blade with no extant hilt fittings. The sword was pattern-welded, with an interrupted twist design similar to that of the Sutton Hoo Mound 1 sword. Overall the burial is comparable particularly to Benty Grange, but also to other relatively high status, late phase warrior burials.

The helmet was in fairly good condition, with a mostly intact bowl, single extant cheekpiece with iron hinge, deliberately inwardly bent but reinforced nasal, and in contrast to all other examples then known, no signs of any precious-metal fittings or embellishments. Unfortunately the back of the helm was largely disintegrated, and so little can be said with certainty about its neck-guard. Its structural construction is closely homologous to that of the Coppergate helm from approx. a century later, and it also shares a nose-to-nape and ear-to-ear crossing ridge, though this time formed convex and of iron, integrating a small and simple boar-crest like a diminutive and less costly version of the Benty Grange boar. The more utilitarian design of the Wollaston helm inevitably invites speculation that it may be representative of a more common type of helmet worn by professional Anglian warriors, as implied by the relatively uniform depictions of nasal-helms on the Pictish Aberlemno II stone. For more on the Wollaston Helm see http://thethegns.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-wollaston-pioneer-helm_1.html

• The Shorwell Helmet, Shorwell, Isle of Wight. 2004.

The above helmets all share a crucial feature they were all recovered from reasonably well-undetstood contexts by (at least according to the standards of the time in each case) “professional archaeologists”. This means that they all came with provenance and context, allowing them all to be dated and ascribed to early Anglo-Saxon material culture. This cannot be said, for example, of "the Yarm Helmet" – an oddity discovered in the 1950s by workers laying a new sewerage system in Yarm, North Yorkshire, and now on display in the Preston Park Museum, Stockton on Tees. This shoddily made semi-visored helmet, of ridgeless low spangenhelm construction with a small finial at its apex is unimpressive to say the least, although efforts to recreate it have yielded some more fetching results. Its resemblance to the early Viking helmet from Gjermundu has inevitably led to it being more commonly regarded as a possible Viking helmet from the North-East, though the semi-visor design is well represented in early Anglo-Saxon art (cf. 6th century button brooches) and its construction is at least equally consistent with early Anglo-Saxon smithing, though not their finest work. The dubious status of the Yarm helmet – and others without provenance or characteristically “Anglo-Saxon” features which litter private collections, auction sites, and episodes of Pawn Stars (https://youtu.be/nSdQGgRKiWI) cannot be included. However, these dubious cases are not responsible for the miscounting.

The real reason we’ve got the running total wrong is the Staffordshire Hoard.

What’s Wrong with the Staffordshire Helmet?

The discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard in 2009 brought with it an incredible explosion of insight, interest, and inspiration. There were so many aspects which caught imaginations, but high on the list of them was the tantalising possibility of a golden helmet. First to be identified was a “golden” (actually silver-gilt) cheek-piece a bit on the small side, but it looked big enough on telly. Then an unusual hollow crest with a horse-head-like terminal that was a bit on the small side, but would do the job. In time the conservators got to work on the excruciatingly fiddly jigsaw puzzle of silver flakes which formed friezes of pressblech foil homologous to those on the Sutton Hoo helmet, and finally, the public was wowed when, through a flurry of activity at the conclusion of the research project, the Hoard conservators (Drakon Heritage) with the help of the Royal Armouries, Gallybagger Leather, and Birmingham City School of Jewellery, produced and unveiled with significant fanfare two replicas of the “Staffordshire Helmet”.

The media and public were impressed, and both helmets have served as excellent marketing tools for their respective museums, in the way that only shiny helmets can. The rationale behind the reproduction-cum-reconstruction (copying then putting together Hoard bits is both and neither, so for our part we sometimes resort to the made-up term “reassemblage”) was laid out in heroic detail in the magnum opus “The Staffordshire Hoard an Anglo Saxon Treasure” (Fern et al. 2019) which is still being digested, but among those well-versed in Anglo-Saxon and associated-culture helmet archaeology and reproduction, already sceptical of the identification of some key elements of the Hoard as helmet parts, the reception for the helmets was muted. The strongly magpie-ish tendency, competitiveness, substantial resources and privileged access to world-leading historic craftsmanship, of some members of this community, should have surely meant a feeding-frenzy to be the first to have a golden Hoard helmet when the news hit in 2009, or when further pieces emerged in 2012, or when the cleaning and conservation was completed and the Hoard was revealed in full in 2014, but nobody went for it – perhaps nobody could make it work, and so, quite unexpectedly it was left to the Hoard team themselves to grasp this gilded nettle first.

More complete of two alleged "cheekpieces" from Staffordshire Hoard - Wikimedia Commons.
What was produced was undoubtedly impressive, but peculiar, with many elements unprecedented, or visually just plain jarring. This does not necessarily mean wrong – we must be wary of putting our expectations ahead of the material evidence. However early-identified, potentially fatal flaws remain, not least the diminutive, weakly attached silver-gilt cheek-pieces which both fail to protect the blood vessels of the throat (their true purpose on all such helmets) as they finish well above the chin, and risk injury from the sharp inward bend on the front aspect which would slice into the cheek if impacted, and which jars awkwardly with the much narrower and rounded edge of the orbit which it hangs from. It has been suggested that these pieces formed decorative shells around an inner, probably iron cheek-piece, yet there is no trace evidence that such a core ever existed, nor a corresponding flange on the back of the shells to accommodate such a thick insert, and it is the shells themselves (rather than any theoretical iron cheek-piece) which bears the (albeit flimsy and non-hinging) attachment lugs. It should go without saying that any theorised structural cheekpiece would be expected to attach to the helmet itself, not hang via flimsy tabs extending from its decorative plate.
We are certainly not the first to observe that these diminutive and weakly attached, precious-metal face-flaps would be more likely to cause injury than prevent it. Compare this to the ergonomic elegance of the Sutton Hoo helmet which is now believed to have been a product of the same royal East Anglian workshop is it plausible that such armourers would compromise the function of a helm in this way, simply for added visual flair?

Staffordshire Hoard alleged "cheekpiece" with silver tabs and beaded wire matched to it - Wikimedia Commons
One half of the Staffordshire Hoard alleged "helmet crest" - Wikimedia Commons
Function is the acid test for any piece of armour, and in recent decades, reconstructions of Anglo-Saxon and associated Vendel culture helmets have, arguably conclusively, proven that they were well designed and highly functional. Some show repair of battle-damage. Even the helmet from Sutton Hoo – with its enigmatic mask and other details hinting at a partly ceremonial role – was a very functional war-helm, and so we should expect the same of the Hoard helmet more-so given it, unlike the Sutton Hoo helm, comes from an assemblage widely regarded to represent battlefield loot. The Staffordshire Helmet project was arguably made more difficult by the desire to let the Hoard fragments, on their own, dictate the design with limited reference to more complete helmets, and the corresponding need to integrate all possible helmet fragments into a single build. Fern (2019) notes that we do not know for certain that all the possible helmet fragments came from a single helmet – a possibility that should be taken very seriously, for if it were the case, this version of the Hoard helm might be a chimaera, and a wide range of more sparsely decorated but more comfortably assembled designs might be possible.

If this criticism sounds harsh, and perhaps it is, we should remember the infamous first attempt at re-assembly of the Sutton Hoo helmet, and compare it to the splendid item we know today. This first attempt – and likely all future attempts – can only ever be approximations, which through iterative integration of new insights from analysis, re-evaluation, and experimentation, hopefully nudge ever closer towards the true original helmet’s form.

Reconstructions are dangerous things they can communicate a false degree of certainty decisions must be made once and for all – one must literally rivet one’s colours to the mast, while the error bars, other possibilities and interpretations fall away. I will never forget a conversation with a lady at a public event in Tamworth in 2012 who, enthusing about the glittering Anglo-Saxon helmet that had been found there and was on display, was considerably disappointed to be told that it (the “Tamworth Castle Helm”) was a beautifully crafted but speculative reconstruction designed to show how the Staffordshire Hoard helmet foils worked. We are not in the same position, of having our reproductions behind museum glass and being mistaken for being “real” but can always be more mindful of articulating uncertainties. Navigating uncertainty is the hardest part of the job it’s a joy to reproduce a specific and well-preserved find in its entirety, but to reconstruct the Hoard is to "play Anglo-Saxon on hard-mode", and within the Hoard, the ultimate challenge is the helmet. Drakon Heritage and associates deserve credit for even trying. In future years, undoubtably, others will attempt speculative reconstructions of elements of the Hoard helmet, approaching the challenge from the opposite direction by working readily understood fragments into existing designs, and unconstrained by the need to make use of, and explain, every fragment.

The enormous challenge of reconstructing the Staffordshire Hoard helmet stems from one key fact, however, which is also the reason that arguably disqualifies it from consideration in our list of Anglo-Saxon helmets there is actually no helmet present, to study.

There is no Staffordshire Helmet

Well… not really. There was, as evidenced by the abundant array of fragments of helmet decoration in the Staffordshire Hoard (some of which definitely did come from a helmet). But, as described by lead conservator and project-manager for the reconstruction, Pieta Greaves, reconstructing the Staffordshire Hoard helmet is like trying to reconstruct an old house when all you have are scraps of wallpaper. To be clear this is not a criticism of the fragmentary nature of the helmet both the Sutton Hoo and Showell helmets were in tiny fragments on discovery and took years to reassemble. The problem is that with the Hoard helm there are no surviving structural elements no parts of the helmet bowl, no iron cheek-pieces or hinges, part of a nasal, face-plate or reinforcing ridge. Even the chunkier though disputed parts, including the silver-gilt cheek-piece elements and crest are decorative pieces of finely worked, soft precious metals, and are of little physically protective value. Attempts to infer, from the two “crest” pieces, the dimensions and curvature of the helmet-bowl are somewhat scuppered by the fact that these pieces do not actually fit together, and are shaped so that they can’t even neatly abut, necessitating that they be spaced at an unknowable distance and angle apart, and so even the preserved “memory” of the underlying helmet offered by these pieces is cast into doubt. All extant parts are simply the torn up “wallpaper” of a probably functional iron helmet that was re-forged into a ploughshare over 1200 years ago. And just as the many fittings from swords in the Staffordshire Hoard do not mean it can be described as “a hoard of over 100 Anglo-Saxon swords”, lacking even a single blade, so we cannot claim that the Hoard is a helmet-find.

The lack of structural (as opposed to decorative) elements disqualifies the Staffordshire Hoard helmet as a helmet find, however, not purely as a matter of semantics, or because of the terrible implications this has for interpretation, but rather, because of the precedent which its inclusion would set.

Reassembled die-impressed sheet (pressblech) - long zoomorphic frieze from Staffordshire Hoard. Wikimedia Commons

Horncastle Boar
If the Hoard were to be included as a helmet find, it would be only fair to include all other examples of stray helmet-decoration that likely came from an Anglo-Saxon helmet. There are a growing number of these, some of which arguably have more concrete status as helmet components than some of the purported helmet components of the Hoard. These include the cast copper-alloy boar-crest from Guilden Morden, Cambs, which was recovered from a modestly furnished Anglo-Saxon grave in 1864-5 and quickly identified as a detached helmet-crest thanks to the attachment lug and comparison to the then recently discovered helmet from Benty Grange. Another is the delightful gilded silver boar-head discovered by a metal-detectorist in Horncastle, Lincs, in 2002, which had been attached by means of three small rivets to a larger object. The proportions of this terminal are comparable to the crest-terminals of the Sutton Hoo and Vendel-Culture crests (far moreso than the diminutive “horse” heads of the Hoard) and the beaded filigree-bordered garnet cabochon eyes bear immediate comparison with the Benty Grange boar. In an entertaining and not unprecedented self-referential homage to the larger object, the boar himself wears a helmet with eyebrows and crest, infilled with crouching quadrupeds. A similar, though plainer cast copper-alloy boar-head of similar proportions is displayed at West Stow, and features the same self-referential helmet-crest and eyebrows. A more doubtful, but similarly impressive example, this time executed in gold and garnet cloisonné, was discovered by a metal-detectorist in Bassetlaw, Nottinghamshire, in 2000, and was immediately compared to the boar from Benty Grange, although its deliberately damaged state makes it hard to infer what object it originally came from. Added to this list more recently is a charming boar-crest terminal, again with garnet eyes and bearing attachment rivets still in situ, from the recent excavations of the early Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Scremby, Lincolnshire (courtesy of Hugh Willmott, Sheffield University Archaeology).


Guilden Morden Boar. (C) The British Museum
Although pressblech foils can belong to other items (being used extensively in princely burials to decorate drinking horns and other vessels) the processing warrior, spear-dancer and (to a lesser extent) horse-warrior designs within near-square rectangular fields are peculiar to helmets, and thus, applying the same rule, any flake of such a foil (or perhaps even its patrix?) should also be regarded as a helmet find. A good example - a patrix recently added to the Portable Antiquities Scheme, from Whittington near Lichfield, with dot-filled zoomorphic interlace resembling foils from the Sutton Hoo helm, and with the same frieze-width as the helmet foils from the Staffordshire Hoard, is very likely to have been involved in the manufacture of a helmet. When one takes into account the possibility that the fragments in the Staffordshire Hoard itself might represent more than one helmet, our count of Anglo-Saxon helmets becomes nonsense.

It may seem absurd to count these stray pieces of decoration as helmet finds, yet that is what we do when we call the Staffordshire Hoard the 6th Anglo-Saxon helmet. If the notion of a helmet-find is to mean anything at all, it must surely be restricted to those finds where actual structural, rather than purely decorative, elements are represented.

Conclusion

Of course, you're welcome to count helmets how ever you chose but I would suggest, applying the simple rule described above, there have been five Anglo-Saxon helmets discovered, of verifiable provenance and context, at the time of writing. It should go without saying that this is a tiny (and probably heavily skewed) sample of what existed in the period, and we have further evidence of more helmets, from a number of other finds of detached helmet decoration, including the Staffordshire Hoard. Such trace evidence of non-extant helmets is proof, if any was needed, that such expensive battle-gear was more widespread than the few true helmet finds imply, and exploring these additional pieces of helmet evidence, including through attempts to integrate such pieces into appropriate existing helmet structures, is a worthwhile and valid exercise. However, efforts to reconstruct the “Guilden Morden Helm”, “Horncastle Helm”, "Scremby helm", “Staffordshire Helm”, or others, must still be regarded as speculative exercises. Conjecural helmet "re-assemblages" can offer much in contextualising stray fragments, and add texture and "authentic" variety to our image of early Anglo-Saxon warriors, but we should always recognise and effectively communicate the distinction between helmet finds, helmet traces, and speculative reconstructions flakes of wallpaper, however numerous, cannot be called a house.

References

Barton, C (2012) "PAS-5D5B56: A EARLY MEDIEVAL HELMET" Web page available at: https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/506705

Bateman, T. (1861). Ten Years' Diggings in Celtic and Saxon Grave Hills, in the Counties of Derby, Stafford, and York, from 1848 to 1858: With Notices of Some Former Discoveries, Hitherto Unpublished, and Remarks on the Crania and Pottery from the Mounds. JR Smith.

Bruce-Mitford, R. (1972). "The Sutton Hoo Helmet: A New Reconstruction". The British Museum Quarterly. British Museum. XXXVI (3𔃂): 120�. doi:10.2307/4423116. JSTOR 4423116.

Bruce-Mitford, R. (1978). The Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial, Volume 2: Arms, Armour and Regalia. London: British Museum Publications. ISBN 978-0-7141-1331-9.

Bruce-Mitford, R. L. S., & Raven, S. (2005). A Corpus of Late Celtic Hanging-bowls with an Account of the Bowls Found in Scandinavia. Oxford University Press, USA.

Brundle, L (2020) "LIN-490483: A EARLY MEDIEVAL DIE STAMP" Web page available at: https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/999786

Butterworth, J., Fregni, G., Fuller, K., & Greaves, P. (2016). The importance of multidisciplinary work within archaeological conservation projects: assembly of the Staffordshire Hoard die-impressed sheets. Journal of the Institute of Conservation, 39(1), 29-43.

Fern, C., Dickinson, T. & Wesbter, L. (2019) "The Staffordshire Hoard An Anglo Saxon Treasure". Society of Antiquaries, London. ISBN 978-1527233508

Halsall, G. (2015). The Staffordshire Hoard: Its Implications for the Study of Seventh-century Anglo-Saxon Warfare. [Online] https://600transformer.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-staffordshire-hoard-its.html

Hood, J, Ager, B, Williams, C, Harrington, S & Cartwright, C. (2012). “Investigating and interpreting an early-to-mid sixth-century Frankish style helmet”, British Museum Technical Research Bulletin, 6 (2012), 83-95

Leahy, K., Bland, R., Hooke, D., Jones, A., & Okasha, E. (2011). The Staffordshire (Ogley Hay) hoard: recovery of a treasure. Antiquity, 85(327), 202-220.

Maryon, H. (September 1947). "The Sutton Hoo Helmet". Antiquity. XXI (83): 137�. doi:10.1017/S0003598X00016598.

Meadows, I (2004). "An Anglian Warrior Burial from Wollaston, Northamptonshire". Northamptonshire Archaeology Reports (2010 digital ed.). 10 (110).

Suzuki, S. (2008). Anglo-Saxon button brooches: typology, genealogy, chronology (Vol. 10). Boydell & Brewer Ltd.

Tweddle, D (1992). The Anglian Helmet from 16󈞂 Coppergate. The Archaeology of York. 17/8. London: Council for British Archaeology. ISBN 1-872414-19-2.


A symbol of power and wealth

In the period of continuity and change following the end of Roman rule in Britain, Anglo-Saxon rulers competed among themselves for supremacy. We know from Bede and other written sources that the royal family of East Anglia was embroiled in these conflicts. The objects in the burial referred to the role and status of the dead person, but also had a public message which would have been understood by the people assembled at the ritual of burial.

The mythological scenes on the helmet could be related to the pagan god Odin, Nordic god of war. In the Anglo-Saxon world, rulers needed to demonstrate that they could lead their people in war. Success in war meant maintaining stability and control, and perhaps expanding the kingdom. So objects such as the helmet were vital symbols of qualities of leadership.

The placing of valuable objects and materials in graves demonstrates the wealth and status of the dead person’s social group not merely through the objects and materials themselves, but through the group’s ability to dispose of and in effect destroy these goods.

This was a period when both pagan and Christian belief systems were being followed in East Anglia. The practice of ship burials and placement of objects within the burial space was a pagan practice. However, there are Christian symbols on several of the items.


Hawaiian feather helmet

  1. Click on the image to zoom in. Copyright Trustees of the British Museum
  2. Portrait print of Captain James Cook from 1784. Copyright Trustees of the British Museum
  3. Print showing the death of Captain Cook. Copyright Trustees of the British Museum
  4. Map showing where this object was made. Copyright Trustees of the British Museum

This feather helmet would have been worn by a Hawaiian chief during a ceremony or in battle. It is made from wicker basketry and covered with the red feathers of honeycreepers and the yellow feathers of honeyeaters. Red and yellow were the Hawaiians' most important colours and were regarded as tapu - holding a sacred quality. Feathers enhanced mana - a spiritual force that can fill individuals or objects with power. Birds were regarded in Polynesia as spiritual messengers.

How did Captain Cook change Hawaiian society?

This helmet was probably collected in 1778 by Captain Cook or a crew member of his ship. They were the first Europeans to ever visit Hawaii. The Hawaiian Islands were first settled in around AD 400 but had probably been isolated from the rest of Polynesia for 500 years when Cook arrived. The arrival of Europeans proved to be highly influential. Kamehameha I modelled himself on European monarchs and was able to conquer and unite all the islands independent until the American takeover in 1893.

In Hawaii only the highest-ranking chiefs could wear red and yellow feathered cloaks and ornaments.

Understanding the colours

Featherwork throughout the Pacific and Polynesia in general is very significant and associated with the high chiefs or the chiefly line in all of the Polynesian cultures.

In Hawaii, red is used prominently in feather work, in helmets, in feather capes, but also yellow becomes a very prominent colour as well that stands alongside the red because of its rarity and colour.

The primary feathers that are used in this particular mahiole are from two birds. The red feathers coming from the i’iwi bird which is a honeycreeper in Hawaii - which is still living in forests around the island chain. The yellow feathers and the black as well come from a bird called the oo which is no longer living in the Hawaiian islands. I think the last Hawaiian oo was last heard in the Hurricane Iniki which was about 15 years ago.

Also the materials used - because the chief was a God on earth - the materials used are earthly forms of our Gods. For example the ie’ie which is for Ku, wicker material, the feather work, the colour red, Ku, for the God Ku, for the god of politics, war but perhaps other things as well, the God of life. So it’s a symbol of a core status, a godly status on earth and so that’s what separated them from the commoners. Hence, the term mahiole.

In Hawaii the yellow feather becomes on par if not a little more elevated than the feather just because of the scarcity of that particular source of material. The yellow feathers come from a small honey eater which is primarily black with a few tufts of yellow feathers under their wings and tail. So to acquire enough feathers of that colour to make something, to decorate your feathered cape or your feathered helmet in a significant manner would require a lot of resources or a lot of control of land to acquire that much resources to make something of significant size. Yellow is a very prominent colour used but the traditional colour of the chiefs originates with the red.

Featherwork throughout the Pacific and Polynesia in general is very significant and associated with the high chiefs or the chiefly line in all of the Polynesian cultures.

In Hawaii, red is used prominently in feather work, in helmets, in feather capes, but also yellow becomes a very prominent colour as well that stands alongside the red because of its rarity and colour.

The primary feathers that are used in this particular mahiole are from two birds. The red feathers coming from the i’iwi bird which is a honeycreeper in Hawaii - which is still living in forests around the island chain. The yellow feathers and the black as well come from a bird called the oo which is no longer living in the Hawaiian islands. I think the last Hawaiian oo was last heard in the Hurricane Iniki which was about 15 years ago.

Also the materials used - because the chief was a God on earth - the materials used are earthly forms of our Gods. For example the ie’ie which is for Ku, wicker material, the feather work, the colour red, Ku, for the God Ku, for the god of politics, war but perhaps other things as well, the God of life. So it’s a symbol of a core status, a godly status on earth and so that’s what separated them from the commoners. Hence, the term mahiole.

In Hawaii the yellow feather becomes on par if not a little more elevated than the feather just because of the scarcity of that particular source of material. The yellow feathers come from a small honey eater which is primarily black with a few tufts of yellow feathers under their wings and tail. So to acquire enough feathers of that colour to make something, to decorate your feathered cape or your feathered helmet in a significant manner would require a lot of resources or a lot of control of land to acquire that much resources to make something of significant size. Yellow is a very prominent colour used but the traditional colour of the chiefs originates with the red.


Archaeology breakthrough as identity behind UK’s ‘most magnificent war grave’ unmasked

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The Dig: Carey Mulligan stars in Netflix trailer

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Known as Sutton Hoo, the site in Woodbridge, Suffolk, was at the centre of an incredible discovery in 1939 when an Anglo-Saxon burial was found. Archaeologist Basil Brown discovered two early Medieval cemeteries on the property of Edith Pretty that dated from the sixth to the seventh centuries. Inside one was an undisturbed ship burial with a wealth of treasure, including a ceremonial helmet now held at the British Museum.

Related articles

And, as Netflix is poised to release its new film &lsquoThe Dig,&rsquo depicting the incredible excavation, curator of Early Medieval Europe Collections at the museum, Dr Sue Brunning, spoke to Express.co.uk.

She said: &ldquoThe person buried at Sutton Hoo was buried with a whole array of magnificent war gear. It&rsquos the most magnificent war grave that&rsquos ever been discovered in Britain.

&ldquoThere are a few things that are unique &ndash the helmet is very unusual. That in itself is important.

&ldquoThere was also a coat of armour that suggests this person was very high status. It wasn&rsquot accessible to other people.&rdquo

Sutton Hoo was one of the most significant discoveries in the UK (Image: GETTY)

The discovery was made in 1939 (Image: GETTY)

And, incredibly, Dr Brunning has been able to get a unique insight into the artefact&rsquos owner.

She said: &ldquoThere was also a sword found in the ship burial and this is something I&rsquove studied myself. The handle features a really beautiful pommel.

&ldquoMy study of that weapon suggested to me that the way it was worn down, the deterioration, the person who carried it may have been left-handed &ndash based on how the sword would be worn on the body.

&ldquoI think that is amazing. This person&rsquos remains didn&rsquot even survive in the burial, but we are still able to get some personal insights into who they were based on the objects.&rdquo

Unfortunately, there was no body found at the grave, which led to early speculation over whether the Sutton Hoo ship burial was actually a cenotaph.

The sword was discovered along with the burial (Image: BRITISH MUSEUM)

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But Dr Brunning is now sure there was once an inhabitant.

She added: &ldquoThere is a big gap where we would expect a body to be. There is a human-sized gap between the objects.

&ldquoAlso scientific analysis showed there may have been a degree of remains in the area.

&ldquoIn this part of Suffolk the soil is so acidic and water would have got into the burial, creating almost an acid bath. Human remains won&rsquot survive.

&ldquoI&rsquom pretty happy someone was buried there.&rdquo

The archaeological treasures are held at the British Museum (Image: GETTY)

A belt buckle found at Sutton Hoo (Image: GETTY)

Some scholars have tipped King Raedwald of East Anglia to have been the grave&rsquos owner.

Details about his reign are scarce, primarily because the Viking invasions of the ninth century destroyed the monasteries in East Anglia where many documents would have been kept.

And while Dr Brunning believes it is possible, she can&rsquot be 100 percent sure without this evidence.

She continued: &ldquoWe are at a time in history before there were written records, we can&rsquot know for sure.

&ldquoBut we can tell quite a lot from the archaeology. We can see a huge quantity of grave goods and the quality of them.

The stunning Anglo-Saxon helmet on display (Image: GETTY)

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&ldquoWe can see this is somebody who was significant and important enough to be honoured with such a burial.

&ldquoThe nature of the burial &ndash the fact they were buried in a 27-metre-long ship &ndash it would have taken a lot of labour and time so it was probably a big ceremonial event marked with a big mound to show this person&rsquos place in the landscape.

&ldquoAll of these things combined together show us this was somebody very important. The traditional view is it may have been a local king of East Anglia &ndash I don&rsquot know if it was him, but we can tell it was somebody very important.&rdquo

The new Netflix release is directed by Simon Stone and based on the 2007 novel of the same name by John Preston.

It will be available to stream on Netflix from Friday, January 29.

The cast is led by Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan, who plays Mrs Pretty.

Ralph Fiennes takes on the role of Mr Brown &ndash a self-taught archaeologist who has to fight to continue work on excavating the ship he found.


Interesting facts about the British Museum

The British Museum is dedicated to human history, art and culture, and is located in the Bloomsbury area of London.

The Museum houses a vast collection of world art and artefacts and is free to all visitors.

The British Museum collection today contains over 8 million objects. Only 1%, or 80,000 of these objects are on display at any given time in 194 designated store rooms.

The British Museum was established in 1753, largely based on the collections of the physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane.

It was the first national public museum in the world.

The museum first opened to the public on 15 January 1759, in Montagu House, on the site of the current building.

Visitor numbers have grown from around 5,000 a year in the eighteenth century to nearly 7 million today. It is the second most visited art museum in the world, after the Louvre.

The core of today’s building, the four main wings of the British Museum, was designed in the 19th century by the architect Sir Robert Smirke (1780–1867).

The Greek Revival façade facing Great Russell Street is a characteristic building of Sir Robert Smirke, with 44 columns in the Ionic order 14 meters (45 feet) high, closely based on those of the temple of Athena Polias at Priene in Asia Minor.

The British Museum has grown to become one of the largest museums in the world, covering an area of over 92,000 meters square (990,000 square feet).

Designed by Foster and Partners, the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court, commonly referred to simply as the Great Court transformed the Museum’s inner courtyard into the largest covered public square in Europe. It is a 8,000 square meter (2 acres) space enclosed by a spectacular glass roof with the world-famous Reading Room at its center.

The British Museum Reading Room used to be the main reading room of the British Library. In 1997, this function moved to the new British Library building at St Pancras, London, but the Reading Room remains in its original form at the British Museum.

Some of the museum’s most popular and important exhibits include the Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles, the Oxus Treasure.

The Rosetta Stone is a stone with writing carved into it. French soldiers found it in Egypt in 1799. It helped people get a better understanding of the Ancient Egyptian writing system called hieroglyphics. Its discovery led to the translation of Ancient Egyptian writing. The stone is named after the city where it was found, Rosetta.

The Elgin Marbles, also known as the Parthenon Marbles, are a series of ancient Greek sculptures made from marble. They were originally part of the Parthenon temple in Athens but they were taken away by Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin in the early 1800s.

The Oxus treasure is a collection of about 180 surviving pieces of metalwork in gold and silver, the majority rather small, plus perhaps about 200 coins, from the Achaemenid Persian period which were found by the Oxus river about 1877-1880.

Its most important curatorial departments include the following:

• Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan
• Department of Greece and Rome
• Department of the Middle East
• Department of Prehistory and Europe
• Department of Asia
• Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas
• Department of Prints and Drawings

The Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan is one of the biggest collections of Ancient Egyptian art in the world (with over 100,000 pieces). Only the Egyptian Museum in Cairo has a bigger collection. They cover Egyptian and Sudanese history from around 10,000 BC all the way to the 12th century AD, a period of around 12,000 years.

The Department of Greece and Rome is one of the biggest collections of Ancient Greek and Roman
objects in the world. The objects come from nearly 4000 years of European history, from 3200 BC all the way to the 4th century AD.

The Department of the Middle East has the largest collection of Mesopotamian art in the world, outside Iraq. It has some 300,000 objects, covering the Neolithic period until present.

The Department of Prehistory and Europe in the British Museum is responsible for collections that cover a vast expanse of time from the earliest human tools in Africa and Asia two million years ago to the art and archaeology of Europe from the earliest times to the present day, including the history of Britain under Roman occupation.

This department of Asia holds more than 75,000 objects reflecting the culture of the whole Asian continent, from the Neolithic Age to the present day.

The collection of the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas includes around 350,000 objects, representing the cultures of the indigenous peoples of four continents.

The Department of Prints and Drawings houses the national collection of printmaking and drawing, containing some 50,000 drawings and 2 million prints, which makes it one of the top collections in the world. It features chalk drawings by Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rubens, and Rembrandt, among many others. The holdings are easily accessible to the general public in the Study Room [photo below], unlike many such collections.

The Egyptian Book Of The Dead went on display at the British Museum in 2010. Containing a collection of ‘spells’ thought to guide the dead through the dangers of the afterlife, the collection is over 3,000 years old.

An erotic Japanese art exhibition was once dubbed raunchier than Page 3 by Sun editor David Dinsmore. The controversial collection had 87,893 visitors in three months and is one of the most successful in the museum’s history.

In 2005, British street artist Banksy actually fooled museum staff into displaying a supposed cave painting of an early human pushing a shopping cart. Entitled “Early Man Goes to Market”, Bansky’s piece was displayed in the gallery for Roman Britain artefacts. It was only up for a couple of days before the museum caught on and removed it.


100 objects that can teach children about history

The objects will help to form a new chronological curriculum of the history of the world.

Key Stage 1 - individuals and events in history

1 Fire bucket from the Great Fire of London Museum of London

2 Florence Nightingale's writing box Florence Nightingale Museum

3 Guy Fawkes' lantern Ashmolean Museum

4 Queen Victoria's Jubilee badge British Museum

Key Stage 2 - Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age

The Happisburgh handaxe

5 The Happisburgh handaxe Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery

6 Bone engraved with a horse Creswell Crags Museum

7 Mesolithic woodworking tool British Museum

8 Mesolithic headdress Scarborough Collections

9 Carved stone balls from Skara Brae National Museum of Scotland

10 Neolithic quern for making flour British Museum

11 Mace head from near Stonehenge Wiltshire Museum

12 Early Iron Age boat Vivacity Peterborough Culture and Leisure Trust

13 Iron Age horse trappings British Museum

14 Tools for making clothes in Iron Age Britain British Museum

Key Stage 2 - The Roman empire and its impact on Britain

Manchester wordsquare, fragment of pottery transport amphora (wine jar), AD 182

15 Tombstone of a Roman cavalryman Corinium Museum

16 The Roman temple in Bath Roman Baths Museum, Bath

17 Cup decorated with gladiators Colchester Museum

18 Head of the emperor Hadrian British Museum

19 Roman mystery word square Manchester Museum

20 Roman silver pepper pot British Museum

21 Roman game board Llandudno Museum

Key Stage 2 - Britain's settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots

The Sutton Hoo helmet

22 Anglo-Saxon casket British Museum

23 Scottish silver brooch National Museum of Scotland

24 Figurine of an Anglo-Saxon man Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery

25 The Sutton Hoo helmet British Museum

26 Anglo-Saxon woman's key British Museum

27 Anglo-Saxon stained glass Bede's World

28 Pictish wolf Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Key Stage 2 - The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor

29 Viking treasure Yorkshire Museum

30 Viking scales National Museum of Scotland

31 King Alfred's jewel Ashmolean Museum

32 Anglo-Saxon royal rings British Museum

33 Britain's Bayeux tapestry Reading Museum

34 A Viking dragon plaque Orkney Museum, Kirkwall

Key Stage 2 - The achievements of the earliest civilisations: ancient Sumer, Indus Valley, ancient Egypt, Shang China

Seals from the Indus Valley

35 The Standard of Ur British Museum

36 Mesopotamian clay tablet British Museum

37 Mesopotamian cylinder seal British Museum

38 Seals from the Indus Valley British Museum

39 Bronze bowl from Shang China British Museum

40 Early Chinese writing British Museum

41 The mummy of an Egyptian woman Manchester Museum

42 Ancient Egyptian funeral British Museum

43 Banquet in Egypt British Museum

44 Baking bread in Egypt British Museum

45 Pharaoh Ramesses II British Museum

46 Ancient Egyptian writing equipment British Museum

47 Gifts from Nubia British Museum

48 Ancient Egyptian house British Museum

Key Stage 2 - Ancient Greece

Greek warrior's farewell

49 Silver coin from Athens British Museum

50 Greek warrior's farewell British Museum

51 Greek exercise equipment British Museum

52 Marble statue from Athens British Museum

53 Greek theatre mask British Museum

54 Greek goddess British Museum

Key Stage 2 - A non-European society: Early Islamic Civilisation, Mayan Civilisation, Benin

Ivory salt cellar from Benin

55 Lintel from a Maya building British Museum

56 The Maya maize god British Museum

57 The Oba of Benin British Museum

58 Ivory salt cellar from Benin British Museum

59 Medical encyclopaedia in Arabic British Museum

Key Stage 3 - A significant society of issue in world history and its connections with other world developments: Mughal India, Qing Dynasty, Russian empires, USA in C20th

60 Painting of the emperor Jahangir British Museum

61 Glass ritual set from Qing China Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

62 Russian revolutionary plate British Museum

63 Jesse Jackson for president badge British Museum

Key Stage - 3 Development of church, state and society 1066-1509

Seal die of an English baron

64 Norman game counter Carisbrooke Castle

65 The murder of Thomas Becket British Museum

66 Saladin and Richard I British Museum

67 Medieval reliquary Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery

68 Seal die of an English baron British Museum

69 Medieval wine jug British Museum

70 Portrait of Richard III Society of Antiquaries of London

Key Stage 3 - Development of church, state and society 1509-1745

71 Cannon from the Mary Rose Mary Rose Museum

72 The Phoenix Jewel of Elizabeth I British Museum

73 Corporation mace Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

74 Charles I commemorative ring British Museum

75 Fan to mark the Restoration Fan Museum

76 William III playing cards British Museum

77 Charles Edward Stuart's travelling canteen National Museum of Scotland

Key Stage 3 - Ideas, political power, industry and empire 1745-1901

Palace doors from Nigeria

78 Erasmus Darwin's notebook Erasmus Darwin House

79 Peterloo handkerchief People's History Museum

80 Flour for Lancashire cotton workers Touchstones, Rochdale

81 The first passenger locomotive Darling Railway Centre and Museum

82 A Victorian disaster Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens

83 Thomas Clarkson's chest Wisbech & Fenland Museum

84 The State Entry into Delhi Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

85 Palace doors from Nigeria British Museum

86 The Akan drum British Museum

87 Wedgwood tea set British Museum

88 Maori club British Museum

Key Stage 3 - Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901-present day



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