Strap ends

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from Westness, Rousay, Orkney

Postcard of Strap ends.
© National Museums Scotland

Strap ends

These two bronze strap ends were found in a wealthy Norse woman's burial at Westness on Rousay in Orkney. She died in childbirth and was buried with a range of expensive objects between 850 and 900.

The strap ends were made in Anglo-Saxon England, possibly in Northumbria, and either imported or taken as loot. They are decorated with an unusual cross pattern in the centre. They both end in animals' heads.

Metal strap ends were attached to leather straps, both for horse harness and human strap fittings, to protect the ends of leather or textile straps. The leather and textiles rarely survive, but the metal fittings, often ornamented, are fairly common.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-099-764-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0036: Kiloran Bay Viking Burial (multimedia essay)
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.IL 731 A
Date: Between 850 and 900
Material: Bronze
Bronze; made from flat strips; broken; all very corroded
Dimensions: 2.00 - 2.30" L x 0.60" W / 4.15" L / 3.35" L / 1.60" L x 0.18" W
What: Bowl / fragment
Where: Scotland, Orkney, Rousay, Westness
Scotland, Orkney, Rousay, Westness
Description: Bronze bowl in fragments, from Westness, Orkney
Broken bronze mounts made from flat strips, all very corroded, from Westness, Orkney
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