Wheathampstead Heritage: Virtual Museum Exhibit

Bronze Ewer
Dark Ages
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Bronze Ewer discovered in a gravel pit near Wheathampstead House in 1884

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Brass Ewer

A bronze ewer with hinged lid and moulded feet dating from the early 7th century was found in a gravel pit near Wheathampstead House in 1884 together with other evidence of a burial site. It was acquired by the British Museum in 1900. https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/H_1900-0719-4 )


The ewer is thought to have originated from the eastern Mediterranean and as recently as 2010 has been on loan to a German museum for an exhibition "Byzantium: Splendour and Daily Life".


A Saxon palm-cup, broken into fragments, was recovered from the gravel pit at about the same time. For more about this, see Bulletin 64 (September 2023) at http://www.wheathampsteadheritage.org.uk/history-society-bulletins.asp .

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The following text appears to have been taken from a newspaper, pamphlet or book.  The author and source are unknown and the editor would appreciate any further information as to its source:

"The Anglo-Saxon remains in the country are few, and mostly unimportant, but there is one object so remarkable that· Mr. Smith states that its like has never been found in these islands, and but seldom on the continent. This is a bronze ewer, nearly nine inches high, with a pear-shaped body, a short curved spout issuing from near the top, and a thin handle with a pellet on the top; the mouth is circular, and has a hinged lid with a knob; the base is flat, and rests on three feet. The vessel, with the exception of the lid, is cast in one piece with considerable skill. It is stated to have been found about 1886, in the neighbourhood of Wheathampstead, with a glass tumbler, several human skulls described as male, other bones, and some bronze rings. It is now in the British Museum. The Rhine district furnishes the only known parallels, and, Mr. Smith considers, that this ewer probably came from that part of Europe."

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Bronze Ewer, Saxon

Date Created: 23/02/2013 11:19:19, by: David   Date last edited: 22/04/2024 14:43:07, by: patrick

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