Merovingians, Vikings, Russians and Brummies....

Post Reply
User avatar
Littleboot
Posts: 896
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:49 pm
Location: Normandy.
Has thanked: 1267 times
Been thanked: 1371 times

Well I thought it was time to do a bit of a round up of what I have had so far from the back field. It is a very big field and stretches far over the horizon and was once perhaps 20 fields. In the picture you can see a farmhouse which is late 16th century in origin. Many of the outbuildings, including a large cider press/barn were in what is now the large field and have disappeared. They, like the house (and all the houses in the hamlet including ours) would have been half-timbered on a base wall of flint nodules and/or dressed stone. The road through the hamlet is Roman but the horizon of this photo is a ridgeway which goes back to ancient times and disappeared around 100 years ago.
100_5700.JPG
I have been detecting this field, crops permitting, for 18 years. It is next to my home so I tend to have a pootle on it if i have a spare hour, and it also happens to be a field I have to walk over in one direction or another, to get onto many of my other fields. So been done a lot and has been very good to me. It has produced 2 gold hammereds, (including one this season) an electrum stater , 2 ampullas, and numerous other nice silver finds. (Though oddly no older hammered silver)

Every time I think it is drying up it then gets ploughed and things start popping up again.. It has been ploughed this year and, very obligingly, Jacques the farmer has rolled it and left it unseeded. Perfect! It made up for the fact that the window on other fields of mine was very short this year because the ground was too fluffy and dry and then the seeds went in. Swings and roundabouts. I wonder if other people have the same experience with fields...because after a period where 16th/17th century was dominating (understandably given the age of the houses) and before that Revolutionary period to Nap 3 was the main era....I now see to be turning up more 14th century stuff and late 19th/early 20th as well! Plus of course a few wild cards.


Here are the silver bits....all found on or near the ridgeway. A Russian coin...10 kopeks with the double-eagle of the Romanovs. 18 something or other as very worn. Late 19th century. feels like half-silver in the hand but I haven't researched it. First Russian I have found...apart from bag-seals of course so i wonder if that is the link.
100_5703.JPG
The ring is very small, silver but not hall marked. Looks like a child's ring and I think the figure on it is St Nicholas who is, of course, patron saint of children. The Orthodox look of the figure makes me think it is Russian too....and it was found close to the coin. The bracelet is hallmarked...Birmingham Henry Griffith and sons and early 20th century. I think the Ridgeway was the route taken to Church and people were in their Sunday best....some lost their little treasures en route and how sad that must have been.
The button is solid silver one-piece and domed with a very solid loop shank. It came from near the farmhouse and is a similar style to a buckle i found in an adjacent field a few months ago. So I think late 17th/early 18th century. The other bit of silver is the 'wrap' for a bone inlay which would have had holes in for attaching.
100_5714.JPG
Here are some other interesting bits....including a nice 14th century jetton which I found very close to where I later found the gold hammered the week after and of course the style and size of it is very similar. When i found this the ground was still very dry and although rolled the ground still had a lot of air in it and was very dry...which is why I think I didn't find the gold at the same time. Gold doesn't conduct as well of course. I also found the strap end nearby which is of a similar vintage. Now the condition of these items is such that i know they can't have been minced by the plough much so they must have been dragged up by the plough biting into the plough pan deeper than normal in that area. makes one think what else is down there.
What looks like a pilgrim-type badge of Joan of Arc but i don't think it has all that much age to it. And a small dagger pommel?
The little bezel is silver and hard to tell if it came from a ring or pendant.....The central stone looks like garnet and it dislodged and underneath is gold. So a bit of a mystery. Jewellery isn't my strong point so I would be grateful of some suggestions based on setting and style.
A few other pieces here I haven't got to grips with Id-ing so if anyone has any suggestions please let me know....

The most enigmatic piece I found was this item of very finely shaped (I presume) bronze with a very dark black patina. This is an area with strong Norse connections ( well it is Normandy after all) and the local town has a Norse name. I have found one item in this same central area of the field before which I believe is from that period but i cling to the hope this is another one. The shape makes me feel it is part of a penannular brooch and it has what i believe are runes....The rune Dagaz and Tiwaz (which sound like cartoon characters from a box of cereals lol) are inscribed. The surface also has a snake-skin appearance which I hope I have caught in the pictures. If it is viking it will be 8th century and i'd be well pleased..
100_5715.JPG
Finally, I found a very small Merovingian item (Equivalent to early Saxon) ....just on the sheltered side of the ridgeway. I have found a small abraded Mero shroud hook in that area before which was no great shakes and could easily have been discarded...but it gave me a clue that they had at least been about. This little equal-armed brooch is just over an inch long (though the arms have been abraded a tad) and has ring and dot design on it. At first i thought it was a wing-nut! lol Needless to say I beetled back there in hopes of finding a tremissis but equally needles to say one didn't show up. I clearly need to find out where this lot's upmarket rellies hung out. :lol:
100_5731.JPG
For the purpose of full disclosure here are the other bits and bobs (including a few buttons for Carling :lol: as i know he likes them) which are basic staples of detecting in Normandy. All off this field this season.
100_5708.JPG
I know this is a long-assed post but i have been lazy about uploading stuff. Too busy digging holes in Jacque's field.
Live long and prosper.
User avatar
Littleboot
Posts: 896
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:49 pm
Location: Normandy.
Has thanked: 1267 times
Been thanked: 1371 times

A few extra pics:
100_5736.JPG
100_5706.JPG
Live long and prosper.
Dave The Slave
Posts: 3686
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:36 pm
Has thanked: 12170 times
Been thanked: 4074 times

Enjoyed reading about your field on the doorstep, how lucky you don`t need to drive anywhere to detect.
Also like the piece you think may be Viking, hopefully it is.
Brummie Silver, now that always peaks my interest, not that i have an interest in Silver, apart from those as yet elusive milled but more due to my heritage.
Wonder how many of the British finds, are to do with British Serviceman in both wars.
Nothing wrong with buttons, some days that can be your best find, in fact last season a button was my best find.
Best Wishes, :thumbsup:
Dave.
User avatar
Oxgirl
Posts: 13361
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:21 pm
Location: Oxfordshire
Has thanked: 10038 times
Been thanked: 11648 times

Great finds Jan. That semi circular item with the possible runes markings is particularly interesting. Be very interested in hearing what others think of that.

Keep going, after all it’s not as if you have to travel far, lucky lady :D
Yes I really don’t like Roman coins, I’m not joking
User avatar
Kenleyboy
Posts: 1049
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:08 pm
Has thanked: 2103 times
Been thanked: 1777 times

Great write up and a very interesting array of finds coming off the fields and so close to home . :thumbsup:
User avatar
figgis
Posts: 7089
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:21 pm
Location: Norfolk (just)
Has thanked: 4125 times
Been thanked: 4805 times

Great story, Jan, and thanks for posting it.

That's quite some history you have on your land, and you seem to be finding most of it :thumbsup:

Especially like that equal armed brooch.
User avatar
alloverover
Posts: 1858
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:02 pm
Has thanked: 1532 times
Been thanked: 2324 times

Great post Jan, lovely to see what goes on your way in pictures after all these years :D , enjoyed reading that, lovely assortment of finds on your doorstep with a lot more to come I suspect :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Post Reply