- 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
- 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.