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Subject: Re: watery weapons
From: janet wallwork <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.
Date:Fri, 26 Jul 1996 12:11:07 GMT

text/plain (30 lines)

Ray wrote:-

>You are right that the Battersea shield was not rendered useless
>intentionally. However, it is quite a question if the Battersea
>shield was ever made for use at all. Other UK examples, however,
>include "killed" items......

I sem to remember hearing a lecture (poss. by Barry Cunliffe?) on
possible explanations for why there seem to be so few (relatively
speaking) Iron Age burials etc. He suggested water disposal (of
cremated remains or even bones) and mentioned this might explain some
of the fine weapons etc found singly in water contexts; rather than
them being offerings to the gods they may have accompanied a body (a
different sort of offering). The Battersea Shield was
particularly mentioned and one or two fine swords.

(Of course this would have nothing to do with sites where there were
accumulations of offerings that had obviously accrued over a period -
Fontes Sequana etc.)

The problem with this sort of theory is that it is unprovable - any
human remains disposed of this way would be long gone, and certainly
have separated from any material goods that went with them!

Any thoughts on this?

Janet Wallwork

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