The Staffordshire Hoard is remarkable for the extraordinary quantity of sword fittings. Most are of gold and many are beautifully inlaid with garnets.
Such elaborate and expensive decoration would have marked out the weapon as the property of the highest echelons of nobility.
The discovery of a single sword pyramid is a notable event - to find several pairs together is absolutely unprecedented.
The sword pyramid is one of a pair. These pyramids are hollow inside, with a bar across the opening rather like on a belt buckle.
Pyramids like this have been found in a number of Anglo-Saxon graves, lying beside sword scabbards. The pyramids would have adorned a leather strap that would have been attached to a scabbard (which is a cover for a sword). Straps like this are mentioned in the Viking sagas, where they are called ‘peace bands’. They could be tied around the handle of the sword, securing it in place in the scabbard so warriors were not able to draw their swords suddenly in anger.