History of the Battersea Shield

The following is a reblog highlighted in RitaRoberts’ Blog of the History of the Battersea Shield, one of the best-preserved Celtic shields. This beautiful Iron Age shield was dredged up from the Thames shortly before 1857, when it entered The British Museum collection. Several ancient weapons and human skulls were also found, but the location was jealously guarded by workmen and antiquities dealers.

Hope you enjoy!

Ritaroberts's Blog

The Battersea Sheild

                                         THE         BATTERSEA      SHIELD

This beautiful Iron Age shield was dredged up from the Thames shortly before 1857, when it entered The British Museum collection. Several    ancient weapons and human skulls were also found, but the location was jealously guarded by workmen and antiquities dealers..

The picture shows the ornate metal facing from an Iron Age wooden shield, probably made in eastern England c 350-50 BC. It is an exceptional piece, made from sections of bronze sheet hammered out to less than 1mm thick. When new, it would have been a dazzling golden colour, with details on its round bosses picked out with red glass. The swirling designs suggest the faces of birds and beasts, which resolve into different creatures, some strange and menacing, depending on the angle from which the shield is viewed. The handle was adorned with an elaborate bronze mount that is now so fragile that it has to be kept…

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