More of Wiltshire’s remarkable archaology was uncovered when Chiseldon Local History Group unveiled a replica made of one of the thirteen Iron Age cauldrons which were discovered in 2004 in a field close to the village on 16 November.
Almost ten years ago metal detectorist discovered the badly-corroded fragments of a bronze bucket and, on removing them from the ground, found he then had a much stronger signal beneath. A small hole was dug and about 25cm down an iron ring approximately 10cm in diameter attached to a curved surface was revealed. The site was closed down pending a decision on further action.
Initially, the find was believed to be either of medieval or later date, but material analysis of the bronze fragments showed that they were of Iron Age date. This caused considerable interest, and Wessex Archaeology, together with a conservator from the British Museum, carried out a dig in June 2005.
Excavations revealed a 2 metre diameter pit dug into the chalk into which twelve bronze and iron cauldrons construction had been carefully placed. Ox skulls had been placed above and below the deposit.
The cauldrons were excavated in blocks and stabilised before lifting and removed to the British Museum. They are now being cleaned and conserved under laboratory condition and the first cauldron has gone on display in the Iron Age Gallery of the British Museum.
The replica has been constructed by Hector Cole, a renowned blacksmith and metal worker based in Chippham, who specialises in reproducing ancient metal objects using the techniques available at the time.
The cauldron is on display in Chiseldon Museum and available to other organisations on loan. Click for opening details