|Now that's what I'd call 'ritual killing',|
HESH-4CD185 "complete but recently broken" - death by metal detecting? Perhaps the PAS would explain how archaeologists know this one was ritually killed, instead of being hit by a plough. Otherwise metal detectorists who gather from PAS outreach that "archaeology is all guesswork" would have a good deal of justification for thinking precisely that. What is the evidence from this loose decontextualised artefact that it is one that has been ritually killed? Why not use the opportunity to show how archaeological interpretations are constructed, on the basis of this find? It could be used to explain about "the educational value of archaeological finds in their context" to artefact hunters. So tell us about that context from the finder's own recording of the context of deposition.
UPDATE 25th September 2014
Sadly, as part of their seventeen million pound outreach to 60 million people, the best PAS can offer is evasive e-bookery:
Portable Antiquities @findsorguk 4 godz. You can find out more about deliberate damage to Bronze Age swords in Garrow and Gosden: … #PASmillionthYou did understand the question did you? We all know about "deliberate damage" to some deposited objects in the Bronze Age and later. What was asked was how you know in a decontextualised find this is one of them. The description says the break is recent.
And, my comment politely requesting a bit more intellectual honesty sent as an answer to your tweet seems no longer to be visible there. Why? In fact, all the earlier ones too seem to be no longer visible. Either some mysterious technical gremlin, or an interesting display of the degree of openness in archaeological discussion which exists in the United Kingdom today. Can one discuss metal detecting and artefact collecting properly in the UK? PAS, I think you have the answer to that one.