Rutland County Museum is closed until further notice due to the Covid-19 pandemic

A History of Finds from Rutland

This year the festival of archaeology has gone digital! It is my first time contributing to the festival of archaeology in Rutland. For this year I thought I would select a few finds from the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) database. Each of the discussed objects will be from a different time period and discussed in small detail, all from Rutland.

To date, there has been a total of 1,995 objects recorded on the PAS database from Rutland. 135 of finds are from the time periods prior to the Roman invasion in AD 43 (Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age).

The earliest dating find recorded from Rutland is LEIC-48DD27 (seen in figure 1), a middle Palaeolithic handaxe, found in Uppingham. This flint handaxe dates to 60,000 – 40,0000 BC. It has been worked on both faces and some edge damage can be seen at the pointed end. Other flint tools were used during this period, such as blades and other lithic implements.

Figure 1 LEIC-48DD27
Figure 1 LEIC-48DD27 (Derby Museums Trust CC licence CCBy2.0)

Flint axes progress over time, changing in style and some becoming smoother in appearance. Eventually, many thousands of years later during the Bronze Age, tools begin to be made of metal. It is important to understand that this change did not happen overnight and that flint continued to be used alongside tools made of metal.


Four copper-alloy axe heads have been found within Rutland, two of these are palstave types, another is a flanged axe head, the other axe head recorded is fragmentary and therefore a type cannot be determined. LEIC-613330 (figure 2) is an example of a palstave axe head. This palstave dates to the middle Bronze Age (1500 – 1300 BC). The example below has a midlobe trident (circled) which allows us to attribute the palstave to a specific type and rough date. In total, to date 763 palstaves have been recorded with the PAS.

Figure 2 LEIC-613330
Figure 2 LEIC-613330 (Derby Museums Trust CC licence CCBy2.0)

A link to all finds from these periods can be found below:

Megan Gard

Finds Liaison Officer for Rutland and Leicestershire

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