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from Duntulm, Skye

Postcard of Bracelet.
© National Museums Scotland


This bronze bracelet, of a type known as a spiral or 'snake' bracelet, was found at Duntulm on Skye. It is a product of a local tradition of metal working specific to the North-east of Scotland during the 1st or 2nd century AD.

Similar examples were cast in a long rod, then coiled. However, the cracks along the length of this one suggest that it was made by 'cold' casting, where the metal or mould was not heated sufficiently, and probably as a coil. The surface decoration is very worn.

Eight similar bracelets, with snake ends and decorated coiled bodies, are known, all but one from Scotland. Of the Scottish finds, most are from the North-east, and this example was probably a gift or import from there.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-104-097-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.FA 98
Date: 0 - 200 AD
Between 0 and 200 AD
Material: Bronze; in form of a double-headed snake; very worn; flaws in the metal have caused longitudinal cracks
Dimensions: 2.00" H x 2.95" external D
What: Armlet
Where: Scotland, Inverness-shire, Skye, Duntulm
Description: Bronze armlet in form of a coiled double-headed snake, from Duntulm, Skye, Inverness-shire, 0 - 200 AD
  • MacGregor, Morna. Early Celtic art in North Britain. Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1976, vol. 1, pp. 103-4, 116; vol. 2, no. 215. 
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