Early Medieval Sword Pyramid found in Norfolk, England

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Gold and garnet sword mounts found at Sutton Hoo (British Museum)

Amateur Treasure Hunter in England Discovers Early Medieval Sword Pyramid

by Isis Davis-Marks/Smithsonianmag.com

In April, amateur metal detectorist Jamie Harcourt unearthed a gold and garnet sword pyramid—a decorative fitting likely used to help keep weapons sheathed—that may have belonged to a wealthy lord or early medieval king. Found in the Breckland district of Norfolk, England, the object “bears a striking resemblance” to artifacts found in the nearby Sutton Hoo burial, reports Treasure Hunting magazine.

According to BBC News, the tiny adornment dates to between roughly 560 and 630 C.E., when the area was part of the Kingdom of East Anglia. Sword pyramids usually come in pairs, but this one was found alone, meaning its owner may have misplaced it while “careening around the countryside.”

Helen Geake, a finds liaison officer with the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), which records archaeological finds made by the British public, tells BBC News that its loss “was like losing one earring—very annoying.”

Shaped like a pyramid with a truncated peak, the artifact’s square base measures less than half an inch on each side, per its PAS object record. The pyramid’s four faces feature two distinct designs, both of which boast inlaid garnets probably imported from India or Sri Lanka.

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Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

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