Posted: 10th July 2020
This week the 1.5 millionth archaeological discovery made by the public has been recorded on the national Portable Antiquities Scheme database! The object was a lead papal bull (lead seal) of Pope Innocent IV (r. 1243-54). To celebrate North Lincolnshire Museum has selected 10 of our favourite PAS recorded objects in our collection.
The PAS was set up in 1997 as a pilot scheme, and North Lincolnshire Museum was part of that trial. Since then Finds Liaison Officers based at the Museum have created 44,103 records including 49,500 objects, helping the national scheme hit the 1.5 million milestone.
To see what has been found where you live, search the database at www.finds.org.uk
1. Roman enamelled copper alloy cup from Winterton. This cup is one of a series of similar vessels thought to be soldier’s souvenirs of Hadrian’s Wall. Other examples reference the Wall by including the names of forts or crenelated designs. We like to think the enamel blocks on the Winterton Cup replicate a stretch of the Wall between the turrets.
PAS Number: NLM-F50443
2. Viking silver-gilt pendant from Winteringham. In the age of the Avengers films, who wouldn’t want to see a pendant featuring Odin? This pendant depicts Odin with his two pet ravens, Huginn and Muninn, or Thought and Memory. The birds flew around the world collecting information, then returned to Odin and whispered in his ears of what they had seen.
PAS Number: NLM-7F954A
3. Roman wine jug handle from Appleby. This fabulous find featured on the front cover of the PAS book ‘Finds Identified’ by Kevin Leahy and Michael Lewis. The handle takes the form of a lion with a salamander on its back. It was torn from a jug in antiquity and was found on the site of a small Early Anglo-Saxon cemetery. The cemetery was identified through the recording of Anglo-Saxon finds on PAS. Its thought the jug handle may have been included as a grave good in one of the burials.
PAS Number: SWYOR-E54DB2
4. Roman Ram figurine from Winteringham. Recorded in the early days of the PAS, when finds were drawn by the Northern Lincolnshire FLO instead of photographed. This lovely Ram later found fame when a copy was cast in gold and hidden as part of Luke Jerram’s ‘Treasured City’ project at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre.
PAS Number: NLM270
5. Anglo-Saxon gold pendant dating to the 7th century from Haxey. The museum is lucky enough to have a small collection of gold pendants of this date. This one is the most recent acquisition, and one of the loveliest. Though now missing its central stone, we can still see what a beautiful piece it must have been when new. A repair on the suspension loop tells us it was worn and valued in the 7th century.
PAS Number: LVPL-C2D4CE
6. Irish harness mount dating to the 9th century and found at Roxby cum Risby. This lovely and important object probably made its way to North Lincolnshire with an Irish Viking. We particularly love it because it was found in two pieces, by two different people, 17 years apart. Luckily both finders record their objects with North Lincolnshire Museum, and we were able to reunite the two fragments.
PAS Numbers: NLM-DA7151 and NLM-92AFEC
7. Late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age Sompting type socketed axehead from Cadney. We think the decoration on this axe make it super special. We have other socketed axeheads in the collection, but this one is a beauty.
PAS Number: FAKL-FB5DF6
8. Silver Tudor clothing clasp from Scawby. Though silver now, traces of enamelling show it would have been coloured originally with a blue background to the flowers. Though we think it is splendid, the workmanship is a little crude and it may be that the craftsman was inspired by a more ambitious metropolitan piece.
PAS Number: NLM-49F037
9. A 16th – 17th century gold posy finger ring from Holme. Posy rings were popular gifts between lovers in England and France between the 15th and 17th centuries. This pretty ring has a Latin motto engraved on the inside: ‘IN TEMPORE CAVE’ or ‘Beware of Time’. Perhaps a warning that the lovers better get together quick before they run out of time.
PAS Number: NLM-BE8630
10. Gold Anglo-Saxon pendant dating to the late 6th – 7th centuries and found at Barton upon Humber. This beautiful little pendant was made from strips of beaded gold wire, heated slightly to fuse together. The skill involved in forming the cross-in-circle design is quite something.
PAS Number: SWYOR-293CB4