South Cave weapons cache

Contributed by Treasure House

Scabbard of a cache sword. Copper alloy with cast openwork panels, enamel inlay and whale ivory hilt guard/pommel.

A unique group of 5 swords & 33 spearheads, found by 3 metal detectorists in 2002. Buried in a pit within a ditch.The cache was discovered in September 2002 by 3 metal detectorists, on agricultural land at South Cave, East Yorkshire. The swords (each in a differently decorated scabbard) were buried in a pit within in a late Iron Age or Roman-British boundary ditch). Some of the swords may have been 150 years old at the time of burial. Unusually, parts of the organic sword fittings survive - a mixture of elephant and whale ivory, horn and antler. A separate bundle of 33 spearheads were wrapped in an animal skin. The whole cache was covered with large amphora sherds, which suggests a date for burial around the time of the Roman conquest of East Yorkshire. This may have been a secret arms dump of the local Parisi tribe or a post battle deposition.

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