Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/296

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A HISTORY OF SURREY in an elaborated form upon shields, on which we find concentric rings with a large number of small knobs or pellets between them. Socketed celts appear to have been evolved by a very natural process from flanged palstaves. The original flat celt was a kind of axe, derived, as far as form is concerned, from the neolithic celt, and fitted at right angles, or nearly so, to the handle. In the course of time a lateral stop was introduced, and from this circumstance apparently sprang the idea of fitting the implement at the end of a long handle like that of the modern weeding spud. In this way the palstave was invented, and in order to attach it securely to its handle, so that it might not be accidentally lost, a loop was added to it. The next development was to increase the flanges of the palstave in such a way (as is seen in a fragmentary specimen in the Chelsham bronze hoard) as to form what were practically two sockets. The next step was the removal of the partition between these two sockets, and the implement approached very closely to and in fact became the socketed celt of which so many excellent specimens have been found in Surrey. Bronze spearheads have been found in Surrey at Kingston, Ditton, Battersea and in the neighbourhood of Croydon. The spearhead from the last-named locality is a magnificent specimen, no less than 31^ inches long, although more than an inch of the point is missing, and a| inches broad at the broadest part. It is in the possession of Mr. I. J. Coleman, and was exhibited at a meeting of the Society of Antiquaries of London on May 2, 1901 1 ; but the exact spot where it was found, for obvious reasons, has not been made public. A weapon of these proportions can hardly have been intended for military purposes, and it has been suggested that it was intended for state or ceremonial use. In addition to the bronze sword found in the Wickham Park (Croydon) hoard, a broken example was found in the bed of the Thames at Runnymede, and others have been found in the river Thames, as has already been stated. 1 Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of London, ser. z, xviii. 352. 244 BRONZE RAPIER-BLADE, DITTON.