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Treasure! 7th Century AD Kent

Imaging an item from the Portable Antiquities Scheme

Today Dana Goodburn-Brown and I imaged a variety of metalwork finds. Of which, one is from the Portable Antiquities Scheme. This silver-gilt item was found in March 2022 with a metal detector in Kent.

I've searched the PAS website, but I cannot find the link to this item. If you have it, share it with me and I'll update this blog.

This object has been described as:

Silver-gilt zoomorphic mount, depicting two birds (eagles) either side of a fish. The ornament is Style II. Possibly a shield mount. Seventh century AD.

I've measured it using RadiAnt as approximately 7cm width, 5cm height.

X-ray interpretation:

The x-ray images demonstrate the state of preservation and construction methods used. I used two different exposures - 66kV / 5mAs and 90kV / 5mAs.

For those of you who are new to radiography, the kV denotes kilovoltage and the power of the x-ray beam. The exposure (mAs) relates to the quantity of x-rays being used. The image acquired with 66 kV did not 'punch through' the dense metalwork and some detail has been lost within the central portion. Therefore, I increased to 90kV and greater detail was visible as a result.

Both images show the intricate detail of the design, along with several pieces of high density metalwork holding the piece together or in position. These can be seen in the photo of the item from the back. I would harzard a guess that these would be iron due to the difference in densite when compared to the bulk of the mount.

Images: All images and x-rays are copyright. Message James Elliott for permission for use.

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