Can you help identify this find?

This find was unearthed very recently (9 May) by Colin Barton. I’ve said on a number of occasions that detectorists dig up all manner of things, some of which have never been seen nor heard of until they surface. This is one such find.

Colin said it is 14mm in diameter and he thought it was made of lead. On one side is a face set within a beaded circle and on the other side are vertical and horizontal lines forming a mass of squares.

The face looks as if it could be Anglo-Saxon/Viking. An alternative is that the head could be meant to represent Christ within a halo. The imagery appears to be struck rather than cast. This would entail cutting a die for the side with the head, which would take some time to do.

So, what is this thing? I’ve no idea. Datewise, it might be over a thousand years old but could have been made relatively recently. I’d suggest it is old rather than fairly new, for why would someone want to make something like this over recent years? Plausible suggestions as to the age and identity of this find are welcomed.

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Richard Wells
Richard Wells
3 days ago

Although there are clear differences, Colin’s find reminds me of a pewter open-work pilgrim’s badge – also uniface – with a representation of either Christ’s head or that of John The Baptist, which I found some years ago, folded in half so that it presented as a blank half moon. I’m always glad that I bothered to unfold and open it! I will send an image through after this and the PAS description. Well done on a very interesting find!