What’s on : Lectures

Two Jewels in the Yorkshire Museum

29 Nov 2022
Start time
6:30 PM
The Yorkshire Museum
Dr Mel Giles, University of Manchester and Dr Kate Giles, University of York
Two Jewels in the Yorkshire Museum

Event Information

This talk – by archaeologists and twins, Dr Mel Giles (University of Manchester) and Dr Kate Giles (University of York) – will focus attention on two jewels in the Yorkshire Museum’s collections.

The Danes’ Graves wheel-headed pin is on display in the museum’s prehistory galleries. Discovered in 1897 by the Antiquarians Mortimer, Greenwell and Boynton, this coral-incrusted bronze pin was found behind the head of a woman buried in one of the classic ‘Arras-style’ square barrows. Its story allows us to explore the life of an East Yorkshire Iron Age woman and her Continental connections, and the role of women in these chariot-loving, farming communities.

The Middleham Jewel is an exquisite gold locket which forms a centrepiece of the museum’s medieval galleries. Discovered by metal detectorist Ted Seaton in a cow field in North Yorkshire in 1984*, this intricately-engraved reliquary pendant reveals the religious beliefs and ritual practices which surrounded elite women in the later middle ages, as they navigated their role in the great households of the north.

Whilst these two jewels are separated in time by two millennia, Kate and Mel will reflect on the ways in which modern approaches to their analysis and interpretation offer new insights into the making and meaning of decorative objects in the Yorkshire Museum’s collections.

This event will be followed by the launch of the book to celebrate the YPS bicentenary “History of YPS” by Sarah Sheils.

To be held in the Tempest Anderson Hall in the Yorkshire Museum YO1 7DR at 6.30pm.

Images courtesy of York Museums Trust (Yorkshire Museum) -YORYM : 1948.930.1. and YORYM_1991_43-143