Shield `killed' in Bronze Age ritual

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A CEREMONIAL shield from the Bronze Age may have been ritually "killed" and then buried according to archaeologists who have spent the past year restoring the object.

The decorative shield, the first from the Bronze Age to be recovered from an archaeological site in Britain, wasstabbed three times as it lay in the hole it was buried in.

Andrew Wilson, the conservator at Wiltshire County Council who excavated it, said the soil beneath showed signs that the object had been deliberately speared from above by a sharp pole or lance. The 3,000-year-old shield, found at South Cadbury, Somerset would also have had little military use

"The shield was so incredibly thin that it could have had no protective function - it could never have been used defensively in battle," Mr Wilson said.