Bamburgh bling

Gold plaque, Bamburgh. Found summer 2011.

Find of the week, maybe the summer, from Bamburgh. Details of the find can be found on the Bamburgh Research Project blog. They don’t provide much detail. A picture of the finder holding it is pretty poor for the object but the plaque must be very small; it fits within the palm of her hand. The description on their blog says that it is decorated with gold balls creating the spirals and it looks like the border. They say they found something similar, but smaller, in 2008.

I have to say that the style seems odd to me. Its not interlace, but more of a braid. It is made with an actual braid? Given Bamburgh’s location, those spirals remind me of waves on the shore.  I wonder what kind of object this plaque was attached to, maybe across the lip of a sheath for a knife? It seems to fragile for part of a harness, even as a plaque. Anyone have any ideas on the style or date?

Update: The BBC is reporting that it is 1.5 cm long and the Bamburgh team is suggesting it may date to around 800 AD.

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