The Witham Shield


The Secrets of the Witham Shield (c. 300–200 B.C.E.) from HENI Talks on Vimeo.

In the early 19th century, a striking Celtic treasure was dredged-up from a river in Lincolnshire: The Witham Shield.

British Museum curator Julia Farley talks about one of her favorite objects in the museum’s collection — a highly decorative shield named after the river in which it was found. At over 2,000 years old, the shield was a remarkable find, but Farley posits that it was also exceptional in its time.
She encourages us to take a closer look at the shield to see some of its surreptitious and beastly little secrets. Through teaching our eyes to see the subtly encoded messages in such objects one gains insight into Britain’s Celtic past, and how this visual language persists through the ages. Farley shows us how this is not just a decorative art, but a powerful art.

Cite this page as: HENI Talks, "The Witham Shield," in Smarthistory, April 27, 2021, accessed August 1, 2021, https://smarthistory.org/witham-shield/.