Sheet bronze

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from Machrins, Colonsay, Inner Hebrides

Postcard of Sheet bronze.
© National Museums Scotland

Sheet bronze

These pieces of tinned bronze sheet were found in a cist burial at Machrins on Colonsay in the Inner Hebrides. The complete body did not survive, but was probably that of a woman who was also buried with a knife, pin, nail and a small dog.

The bronze sheet was reused, though it is too fragmentary to be certain of its original and subsequent uses. Originally it may have formed part of the binding on a pail. The ribbon animal decoration suggests that it was manufactured in the British Isles.

There are eleven well documented Norse burials on Colonsay, Oronsay and Islay, and may be as many more. Some were wealthy and high status people, buried with a range of valuable and utilitarian objects.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-104-170-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.HR 1561
Date: 850 - 950
Between 850 and 950
Material: Bronze, tin; 6 pieces from 1 object; sheet, thin, surface tinned after engraving; small rivet; thin edging/backing strip; cast boss with perforated tang in oval hole; engraved, hindquarters of 2 animals, background of oblique hatching
Dimensions: Sheet 40 mm x 32 mm; boss 13 mm D, 15 mm H
What: Sheet
Where: Scotland, Argyll, Colonsay, Machrins, Cnoc nan Gall
Description: Sheet of bronze decorated with engraved ornament, found in a cist burial at Machrins, Colonsay, 850 - 950
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