Iron Age bulls head bucket mount

Photo: The Portable Antiquities Scheme CC By SA2.0
Object type: Mount
Period: Iron Age
Primary material: Copper alloy
Date found: 08/07/2023
Location: Craven, North Yorkshire


A copper alloy bucket mount, in the form of a bull’s head. It is thought to date to c. 100 BC to 100 AD. Although there are similar objects on the PAS database, this is considered a Find of Note of Regional Importance because of its completeness.

The bull’s head is a popular motif across many cultures from prehistoric times. Aurochs, which are considered to be the wild ancestor of modern cattle, are found in may Paleolithic European cave paintings. Bulls were associated with gods in many ancient religions and were also known to used as a sacrificial animals.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh in 2017 suggested that some of the early depiction of bull’s heads, from about 4000 – 6000 BC, were in fact some sort of ancient bling used to indicate social status.