The Embleton Sword

A few months ago, I came across a fabulous description of a sword found near Embleton. WG Collingwood, writing in 1902, described, ‘…an iron blade in a bronze sheath, with red and green jewels on the hilt–the Excalibur of some ancient Briton not without wealth and art.’1

Embleton Sword detail c. Trustees of the British Museum

Then, last weekend I was wandering the halls of Tullie House’s new Roman Gallery2 and found myself face-to-face with a narrow iron sword, not too short, not too long, with a matching scabbard. They were decorated in a very distinctive red and greenish chequerboard design and bells started ringing in my mind. There was no label, so I enquired of the attendant who informed me that yes, it is the Embleton Sword, on short loan from the British Museum.

With the assistance of the curator, I was finally able to Continue reading