The Tarves Hoard


British Museum

British Museum
London, United Kingdom

This hoard was found on Ythsie Farm, Tarves, and originally contained three swords, a pommel, a chape (scabbard fitting) and two pins. One sword and one pin were not part of the gift to the British Museum. At this time in Britain, during the Late Bronze Age, there was no practice of ostentatious burial. Hoards containing one, two, or occasionally more swords have been found in Scotland and eastern England, which can easily be interpreted as the personal possessions of powerful warriors, which were possibly buried as dedications on their death. This may be the case with this hoard. Part of the warrior's costume, perhaps a cloak, was secured by two pins of a distinctive 'sunflower' type. This type has been found in Scotland and Ireland, demonstrating important links at this time across the North Channel between Galloway and Ulster.


  • Title: The Tarves Hoard
  • Date Created: -1000/-850
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 585.00mm; Width: 32.00mm (terminal); Width: 51.50mm (shoulder); Width: 42.00mm (max. blade); Weight: 668.60g; Length: 105.00mm (hilt); Length: 481.00mm (blade); Length: 323.00mm (centre of gravity to tip); Length: 166.00mm (max width blade to tip); Th
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: cast
  • Registration number: 1858,1115.2
  • Place: Found/Acquired Tarves
  • Period/culture: Late Bronze Age
  • Material: copper alloy
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Donated by Aberdeen

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