The Coppergate Helmet

The Coppergate Helmet

By Dominic Tweddle

Förnvännen, Vol. 78 (1983)

Abstract: A helmet was discovered in 1982 during building works at Coppergate, York. The cap of the helmet is composed of eight individual pieces rivetted together. There are two hinged cheek pieces with brass edge bindings, and the neck was protected by a curtain of iron mail, found inside the helmet. The nasal is decorated with a pair of confronted animals with their rear quarters developing into interlace. Over the eye sockets are hatched brass eyebrows. At the junction of these is an animal head acting as terminal to a narrow field with half-round edge bindings forming the crest of the helmet. This is filled with a metal foil decorated in repoussé with an inscription in Latin. A second field filled with an identical inscription runs from ear to ear. Comparison of the script and decoration with Northumbrian manuscripts suggests a date in mid eighth century for the helmet.

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