MHG6514 - Armlet - Dunvannarain


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Type and Period (1)

  • FINDSPOT (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A rare type of bronze armlet was found by a crofter digging in a peat-bog in the Island of Skye. It is a massive armlet in the shape of a snake - a splendid example of late Celtic art. Only five other bronze spiral armlets of this kind have been found, and all in Scotland (Pitalpin, near Dundee, in 1732: Culbin Sands about 1827: Bunrannoch, Schiehallion, in 1833; West Grange of Conan in 1874; but no record attached to the fifth which, with the others , is in the National Museum).
The overall diameter of the armlet is about 3 ins. Across the four coils the height measures about two inches. Its weight is about 18 1/2 ozs. The middle coil in all these six armlets is boldly ornamented. In this Skye example the ornament consists of a succession of 28 oval bosses, separated from each other by a very thin ellipse.
The armlet was found at Duntulm c.1952, by James Matheson. The armlet was found at Blar-an-t-siorram, c. NG 434 756. It was, according to the finder, J Matheson, Aird, Kilmaluag, "well down in the second peat," about 2 1/2' below the surface and there were no associated finds. Acc. No. FA 98. Dateable to 2nd. c. AD. (Information from NMAS exhibit card) Information from TS of J Harrison-Maxwell (illustion) and information contained in letter from J Close-Brooks to OS 4 August 1971.

The find spot in peat digging at NG 4327 7549 was pointed out on the ground by Mr J Matheson, the finder.
Surveyed at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (I S S) 10 September 1971.

Information from Illustrated London News, April 1953, 580.

Most armlets of this type were cast in a long rod, then coiled. However, the cracks along the length of this example suggest that it was made by 'cold' casting, where the metal or mould was not heated sufficiently, and probably as a coil.
Information from SCRAN dataset ID 000-100-104-097-C which also includes a picture. <1>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NG 4327 7548 (4m by 4m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG47NW
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish KILMUIR

Finds (1)

  • ARMLET (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (3)

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