From later Bronze Age times through to the early medieval period, metal buckets of various kinds were important accoutrements and probably status objects throughout Europe. The earliest examples are of situla shape, made of sheet bronze, and date to the 8th century bc, imitating vessels found in the Mediterranean world still earlier. The association of buckets and also sheet‐metal cauldrons with flesh‐hooks suggests that they had a central role in feasting ceremonies where the chief would apportion particular cuts of meat from the communal cooking vessel according to rank, status, or privilege. Wooden buckets with elaborate ornamental metal fittings are known through Iron Age times and outside the Roman world in northern Europe through the early 1st millennium ad. They reappear again very visibly over much of northwest Europe in the mid 1st millennium ad when examples are deposited in pagan Saxon graves.