Wednesday 19 December 2018

Medieval brooch, Littlehampton views and moths

silver Medieval annular brooch
On October 21st I found a lovely Medieval silver annular brooch (probably 13/14th Century) on a club dig. As usual with my good finds, it was at the end of the day when most people had left and I had only one person to show it to. I declared it as a possible treasure find and when our new FLO is up and running they will pass it to the British Museum for assessment. Judging by the past history of my treasure items, in about three years it will be bought by a local museum.
I also found a token issued by John Groomes of Stenning (now Steyning), a chandler. One of our members found a scout woggle and I found 6 foreign coins dated 1962 to 1989. I conclude that there was an international scout Jamboree on the site after 1988.
Some moths appeared on our balcony that night: Satellite (Eupsilia transversa), Treble Brown Spot (Idaea trigeminata) and Narrow-winged Grey (Eudonia angustea).
We walked along the sea front to the pier and looking at the photos reminds me of what good weather looked like!
silver Medieval annular brooch, reverse. 19mm diameter
token by John Groomes of Stenning, Chandler 

from 'The Tokens of West Sussex' by Ron Kerridge and Rob de Ruiter

various foreign coins

mouth of the River Arun

Littlehampton beach

River Arun

Oyster pond

Narrow-winged Grey, Eudonia angustea

Satellite, Eupsilia transversa

Treble Brown Spot, Idaea trigeminata

Dog Stinkhorns and Wrinkled Clubs

Dog Stinkhorn, Mutinus caninus
The Dog Stinkhorn is a small thin, phallus-shaped woodland fungus with a dark tip. It is often found growing in small groups on wood debris, or in leaf litter.
 I visited a colony of hundreds of this unusual fungus growing in wood chips scattered underneath trees. The Dog Stinkhorn was on my wish list so I was pleased when the opportunity arose. There were other fungi present, including Wrinkled Club and some unidentified species.
Dog Stinkhorn, Mutinus caninus

unidentified fungus

unidentified fungus

Wrinkled Club, Clavulina rugosa

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Anglo-Saxon Sceattas

silver early-medieval (Anglo-Saxon) porcupine sceat, 695-740 AD

Until October I had never found a Celtic or Anglo-Saxon coin. I now have a Celtic silver unit and two Anglo-Saxon Sceattas, all on Midweek Searchers digs. I have already written about the Celtic silver unit here:

The silver sceat was probably the first coin that was called a penny in common parlance. The name sceat has been used in recent times and means treasure or wealth. Silver coins entirely superseded gold by 675 AD but the silver content became debased by the early eighth century.There was a large variety of styles of sceattas, many being issued by Aethelbald of Mercia (reigned 716 - 757), in whose area my coins were found. They show wonderful artistry and craftsmanship.
[Coins of England & The United Kingdom, 44th edition, Spink 2009,Page 82]

The descriptions below are based on descriptions of similar coins on the PAS database (British Museum & National Museum Wales)
Sceat, probably Frisian, variant of Spink no. 839, series D  (Type 2c) c.680 -710

Obverse: Crude radiate bust right, runic inscription aepa (runic) in front (on right)
[a face turned to the right (large nose) with a crown]

Reverse: Cross with a pellet in each quarter, surrounded by angled lines and an annulet

A silver early-medieval (Anglo-Saxon) porcupine sceat, continental phase. 695-740 AD. Series E, variety G1

Obverse: quilled crescent right, pellet eyes on the side of an insect-like creature and pellets and linear device below.

Reverse: a beaded standard containing four lines with a pellet at one end, a central pellet in annulet; outside the standard, there are two parallel bars joined by a cross piece.

Cf Abramson's Series E, variety G1 (2006, p. 88, no. E215).

Tuesday 4 December 2018

Snipe, a kingfisher and a goldfinch

Common Snipe, Gallinago gallinago
The sun shone this morning for the first time in a few days so I visited Arundel WWT for a few hours. At the Ramsar hide a kingfisher flew past and quite a few snipe. The Lapwing hide has up to a dozen snipe with the light falling well on them. The woodland feeders had a Goldfinch and a large rat was clearing up the seeds on the ground. Finally, a jackdaw perched on a tree by the lake. Some waterfowl were showing signs of pairing up. A few fungi were flourishing but I haven't had time to identify them.
Goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis

Jackdaw, Corvus monedula

Brown Rat, Rattus norvegicus

Common Snipe, Gallinago gallinago

views over the wetland and Burgh

unidentified fungi: