Battersea Shield (detail), British Museum
mobile phone photographs taken through glass
circles, spiral shapes | pushing up polished surface | shining sheet bronze shield
Part of the design on a piece of Iron Age metalwork found in the Thames during the building of Chelsea Bridge.
The whole piece would have been attached to another surface though never intended as a functioning shield: it was probably placed in the river around two thousand years ago as a votive offering.
Swirls are common in Celtic art, never more so than in artefacts in La Tène style.
Whatever their significance then, we can only guess at what such abstract patterns might have meant.