The Thorpe Thewles Earring 

The Thorpe Thewles Iron Age Earring (Courtesy of Tees Archaeology)

The above item was unearthed during the 1980 to 82 excavation of the famous Iron Age settlement located almost centrally between Grindon, Fulthorpe and Thorpe Thewles. This piece of ancient metal work is made entirely of gold wire and measures 26.5 mm in width. The internal rings are each 14 mm in diameter. An obvious piece of jewellery this find is taken to represent approximately two thirds of what once was a three wheeled pendant gold earring. Similar to the replica one illustrated below.

A replica of what the Thorpe Thewles Iron Age earring may have looked like (Courtesy of Tees Archaeology)

The earring represents an attractive piece of jeweller which has a definite Celtic feel to its design  although it has no obvious parallel from either Britain or the Continent. It is possible that the motif is a three dimensional development of the wheel pattern, popular from the 1st century BC to the 2nd century AD. On purely stylistic grounds the earring has been attributed with Continental origins with its manufacture believed to date from the 1st century BC.

Artists impression of an Iron Age woman wearing the Thorpe Thewles earring (Courtesy of Tees Archaeology)

For further information the reader should refer to "The Excavation of an Iron Age Settlement at Thorpe Thewles, Cleveland, 1980-1982" by D.H.Heslop (CBA Research Report 65). To view this report in full go to the appropriate entry in the Links section of this web site.

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