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British Museum (Aug-2004) 129

The Battersea Shield, 350 - 100 BC, River Thames, Battersea, London
This is one of the best known examples of 'Celtic Art' found in Britain. It is not a complete shield, but the decorated metal cover that was attached to the front of a wooden shield. The wooden part of the shield has rotted away. The facing is made of bronze and is decorated with a complex 'Celtic' or La Tene design highlighted with twenty-seven red glass studs.
 
The Battersea shield was not made for warfare - it is too short to provide adequate protection. The thin metal sheet and decoration would be easily damaged in battle, Instead, it was probably made for flamboyant display.
The shield was probably placed in the River Thames at least 2,000 years ago as a religious offering.

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