EDP24 has a great story.
The 3,500-year-old Rudham Dirk, a ceremonial Middle Bronze Age dagger, was first ploughed up near East Rudham more than a decade ago. But the landowner didnâ€™t realise what it was and was using it to prop open his office door.
And the bronze treasure even came close to being thrown in a skip, but luckily archaeologists identified it in time.
Now the dirk has been bought for Norfolk for close to Â£41,000 and is now on display in Norwich Castle Museum.
Dr John Davies, Chief Curator of Norfolk Museums Service, said: â€œThis is one of the real landmark discoveries.â€
The dirk – a kind of dagger – was never meant to be used as a weapon and was deliberately bent when it was made as an offering to the gods.
Only five others like it have ever been found in Europe – including one at Oxborough in 1988, which is now in the British Museum. But thanks to a Â£38,970 grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, following a Â£2,000 donation from the Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological Society, the Bronze Age treasure will now stay in the county.
Read the whole thing.
The British Museum’s account of its discovery differs:
Stumbling upon antiquity
A man walking in woods near Oxborough literally stumbled across this dirk in 1988. It had been thrust vertically into soft peaty ground nearly 3,500 years ago, but erosion had exposed the hilt-plate, which caught his toe.
The ‘weapon’ respects the basic style of early Middle Bronze Age dirks, but it is ridiculously large and unwieldy, 70.9 cm long and 2.37 kg in weight. The edges of the blade are very neatly fashioned, but deliberately blunt and no rivet holes were ever provided at the butt for attaching a handle in the customary manner. The dirk was evidently never intended to be functional in any practical way. Instead, it was probably designed for ceremonial use, or as a means of storing wealth.
Although of an extremely rare type, and indeed the first example from Britain, there are four excellent parallels from continental Europe – two each from the Netherlands and France. Two of these earlier finds give the type the name Plougrescant-Ommerschans type. The five weapons are so similar, in style and execution, that it is possible that they were all made in the same workshop. However, on present evidence we cannot be sure whether this was in Britain, or the neighbouring parts of continental Europe.
Bronze Age, 1450-1300 BC
From Oxborough, Norfolk, England
Hat tip to Ratak Monodosico.