Although Bronze Age finds make up just a fraction of the Portable Antiquities Scheme database, the discoveries recorded still number over 12,000. The objects presented here, in the latest publication in the 50 Finds series, reflect both the most common artefact types and some of the exceptional individual finds and hoards from this period.
The Bronze Age record is dominated by copper-alloy tools and weapons, and the carefully chosen examples here tell the story of how they developed throughout the period, from flat and flanged axes to palstaves and socketed axes, and from the tanged spearheads of the Early Bronze Age to their later socketed successors. In addition to these more mundane objects are artefacts that demonstrate the skilled craftsmanship and expressions of personal identity that were also present in the period. From Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age objects like gold basket earrings or hair ornaments and lunulae to later examples of bracelets, rings, and pins from the Middle Bronze Age, and the wide range of gold objects created in the Late Bronze Age, these objects highlight the rich and varied material culture of the era.
50 Bronze Age Finds from the Portable Antiquities Scheme, Dot Boughton, Amberley Publishing, £15.99, ISBN 978-1445682013.
Review by AB.