Iron Age cheekpiece

Photo: Northamptonshire County Council CC By SA2.0
Object type: Strap fitting
Period: Iron Age
Primary material: Copper alloy
Date found: 17/02/2022
Location: East Northamptonshire


A complete cast Iron Age strap mount dating to 50BC – AD100, which has retained some of its enamelling. There are four close parallels on the PAS database including two mounts from an Iron Age hoard.

It is believed to be a spiked cheekpiece. Research by Pauline Norris on similar mounts as part of Ancient Egyptian bridles has indicated their likely use; they were fixed to the outer side of each bridle of a pair of horses harnessed to a vehicle. The blunt spikes on the cheekpieces kept the horses from turning their heads and so helped keep them running in parallel in the desired direction.

It has been designated a Find of Note of Regional Importance.