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The Iron Age

Craft and Industry

Wardlaw Mount

Iron Age

This was the junction for the straps of a horses harness. Although it is decorated in the native style and was found near an Iron Age fort, there was also a temporary Roman camp in the vicinity, and the Roman army often used native materials - so it may have come from either! The loops on the back are broken, which suggests it may have been lost in use.


Found in a field near the Iron Age fort of Wardlaw Hill, Caerlaverock, Dumfries this is an excellent example of a highly decorative horse harness. With an openwork design with pale green and red enamelling, the harness has a scroll pattern with four loops each containing a boss with enamel ring and dot with a larger pointed loop at the top. It is broken at one end and is plain and flat on the reverse with four indentations corresponding to bosses. The remains of three peg fastenings can also be clearly seen on the reverse.


metal & copper alloy & cast ; enamel (decoration)
height (max): 56 mm width (max): 60 mm depth (peg): 11 mm
Accession number:
Discovery and Excavation in Scotland, 2007. [p60, illustrated on back cover] TAYLOR, R J ; BRAILSFORD, J W "British Iron Age strap-unions", Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 1985, 51, 247-272 WEBSTER, G "Harness strap junction, in G B Bailey and J Cannel, Excavations at Kinneil fortlet on the Antonine Wall, 1980-1", Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 1996, 126, 303-46 (318-20)