Find Spot record MCC2719 - Bronze Age Sheepen Cauldron, Colchester


Bronze Age Cauldron, recorded during excavations at Sheepen in 1932.


Grid reference TL 9854 2547 (point)
Map sheet TL92NE


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

At Sheepen, during the 1932 excavation, a bronze cauldron was recovered, lying on its side in an oval pit measuring 5ft. 6in. long x 4ft. across x 3ft. deep, backfilled with loose gravel (Hawkes & Smith, 1957, 161, Plate XXIc). Until a few years ago it was widely assumed that prehistoric cauldrons were innovations of the late Bronze Age and early (initial) Iron Age, inspired by ultimately Mediterranean prototypes. It is now realised that their origins go back to the late 2nd millennium BC, the middle Bronze Age, that developed in northern Europe without influence from the south. The two earliest cauldrons in Britain are those from Sheepen (Colchester) and Flatwell Fen. They are of major importance for the history of technology because they represent the introduction of sheet metalworking, a technique still in use for the production of automobiles and planes (pers com P. Sealy).<1>

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> Article in serial: 1957. Bronze and Early Iron Age Buckets etc.. Vol. XXVII. pp.160-165.

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Record last edited

Feb 6 2017 1:26PM

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