Iron Age Terret Ring, Poslingford

front, back and sides of ring terret

A Late Iron Age to early Roman terret ring, dating c. 100 BC-100 AD, from the Poslingford area.

Developing in the 3rd century BC within Britain (Middle Iron Age), terret rings formed an important piece of equipment in relation to chariots and other wheeled vehicles. Usually arranged in rows of five along the yoke, essentially they had the purpose of guiding the reins from the driver to the horses pulling the vehicle itself. An example of a key find showing their original placement can be seen in the continental chariot burial from Warcq in the Ardennes, which demonstrates a row of them still connected to the remains of the wooden yoke.

Iron Age ring terret in situ before excavation
Chariot burial at Warqc, Ardennes (France) with the terret rings still in situ along the wooden yoke of the chariot. © Dennis Gliksman/INRAP

Terrets are very diverse objects, with a number of different forms ranging: from very large and ornately enamelled examples; to miniature pieces that probably represent some sort of votive or religious object mimicking their full-sized counterparts, but designed to fulfill a non-practical function. Their distribution across Britain is wide, but particular concentrations are visible both in East Anglia, Lincolnshire and North/East Yorkshire.

The example from Poslingford survives complete and is preserved in very good condition, in contrast to many others recorded, demonstrating traces of inlaid red enamel within the decorative rectangular ‘platform’ studs that decorate its top and sides.

View the full record on the Portable Antiquities Scheme database

Thank you to the finder for allowing this object to be featured.

This find was recorded by the Suffolk Finds Recording Team, supported by the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

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