perhaps to the fact that, being of iron, they are liable to be destroyed by rusting. But, while the blades have disappeared, we have one or two examples of sheaths. The finest of these, which is of bronze, was found at Mortonhall, on the Pentland Hills, and is now in the National Museum in Edinburgh. The blade of the sword for which it was made must have been about 22½ inches long—that is, a blade of very nearly the same length as the Newstead specimen. Several sword-guards are known. One, found in a moss at Middlebie, in Annandale, in association with a group of typical Late Celtic objects such as bridle-bits and harness mountings, is illustrated below in Fig. 19 along with one of the Newstead specimens, and two specimens from Hod Hill, near Blandford, Dorset.

Figure 19
No. 1 represents the decorated guard-mounting from Pit LVII. It will be evident that the design, though comparatively poor, is closely related to that upon No. 2, which is the Middlebie specimen, and that this in its turn is but an inferior copy of such designs as we see on Nos. 3 and 4, the sword-guards from Hod Hill. It thus seems probable that during the period into which the Newstead occupations fall, the art which produced the Hod Hill mountings, and the great shield found in the Thames at Battersea, had begun to decline. Other evidence to the same effect will be dealt with later.

Mountings of this form are of a purely Celtic character, as is clear from the occurrence of undecorated examples on many pre-Roman swords. A case in point is the sword from Catterdale, Wensleydale, Yorkshire, where the sheath is 23 inches in length.[1] Another is a sword from Flasby, Yorkshire. Perhaps earlier in date than the preceding examples is a form of mounting to be seen on a sword from a grave at Grimthorpe Wood, Pocklington, East Yorkshire.[2] This last example was probably about 3 inches long. The guard

1 Archaeologia, Vol. xlv. p. 251, plate xvi.

2 J. R. Mortimer, Forty Years' Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds, plate i. p. 150.