Find of the Month-April: Barbed and Tanged Arrowhead

This stunning barbed and tanged arrowhead was recently discovered on farmland at Newton, Swansea, by Jan Davies of the Swansea Metal Detecting Club. The finely pressure flaked arrowhead is triangular in shape, 3cm long by 2cm at its widest and made of grey patinated flint.

Possible iron staining is visible along the right hand edge but this may belong to an older patination, some cortex is also visible (sandy looking spots). One of the two tangs is missing (right), as is the central node between the two crushed notches where it would have possibly been attached to an arrow shaft.

This type of tool is common to the earlier Bronze Age (2800 – 1800 BC), a time when the Beaker Culture was prevalent in south Wales. The Beaker Culture is so called because of elaborately decorated ceramic beakers found in burials. Barbed and tanged arrowheads are sometimes found along with human burials in large earthen round barrows, such as those in the Vale of Glamorgan at Breach Farm, Llyswyrny and at Sutton, Llandow. Many fine barbed and tanged arrowheads were placed with single burials in these round barrows. The fact that this arrowhead does not appear to have come from a burial may indicate it was lost during an activity such as hunting.

Barbed and Tanged Arrowhead

Barbed and Tanged Arrowhead

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