| 5 August 1998
Bronze-Age shield discovered in Salisbury (Cadbury Castle - England)
The 3,000-year-old bronze shield was found last summer on a secret site near the great hill fort of Cadbury Castle, which some believe was the site of Camelot.
Only 40 Bronze Age bronze shields have been found in Europe, half of them in Britain, but they were all found by chance, usually by peat cutters in bogs. This is the first time archaeologists have been able to study a shield in its original context.
As Stuart Needham, a Bronze Age expert, recalls the discovery: "We saw some flakes of green in the soil, and then about an eight inch strip of the rim emerging. We guessed what it might be, but we could hardly believe it."
A single post-hole was found, directly below the shield. Tabor believes the shield belonged to a powerful chieftain, and was hung on the post after his death. "The shield would have been an impressive object, hung where it would be seen by anyone approaching the site, and where it would be lit by the last westerly rays of the setting sun."
It was a luxury object made for show, not fighting: working shields were wood and leather. Tests with replicas in the 1960s established that one sword slash would cut right through the thin metal.
Source: The Guardian
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