Thames Scramasax


Thames Scramasax




AN00035717_001_l. Iron seax, with a straight cutting edge running parallel to the back, which is angled towards the point. The broad tang is offset from the blade, which is decorated on both faces with linear ornament formed by hammering polychrome wires into the surface of the metal. Along the back of the blade on each face is a narrow rectangular panel bordered by two lines composed of strips of twisted copper and brass wire. Below this panel, and running parallel to it, is a deep median groove flanked by a similar inlaid line with pendent brass triangles. On one face the rectangular panel is inscribed with two texts. They are separated by a herringbone design in silver and brass, and a fragment of a running lozenge pattern in silver and copper, and silver and brass twisted wires, each lozenge containing a copper or silver billet. The first inscription is a twenty-eight letter ‘futhorc' or runic alphabet. The second inscription, also in runic characters is an old English personal name, presumably the owner or maker of the seax, 'Beagnoth'. All these images are © Trustees of the British Museum. These free low-resolution images are covered also under the British Museum's Terms and Conditions ( The full image collection is available at: where you can also order high resolution copies.


The British Museum


9th century




The British Museum, “Thames Scramasax,” Woruldhord, accessed April 15, 2021,