A copper-alloy slide key found near Melton, Leicestershire. (c) Portable Antiquities Scheme, CC BY-SA 4.0
Copper-Alloy Key (LEIC-931912)
A copper-alloy slide key found near Melton, Leicestershire
Slide keys such as this example are generally known as ‘Viking keys’ due to similarities in shape with excavated examples. However, its T-shaped projections at the base have no identified parallels but the design could possibly show Anglo-Scandinavian influence. Keys were not only practical items but also symbols of status. Women often carried the keys to the family’s chests of valuables. They also are often buried with keys, representing their authority in the household. See also the blog post on keys in the Viking Age.