OXON-1184F0: Roman one piece brooch

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Unique ID: OXON-1184F0

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

An incomplete, bent and warped, copper-alloy Colchester one piece brooch of Mackreth 201C type 2.b, dating from the Late Iron Age to Roman period (c. AD 25-60). The brooch survives as the entire bow, spring and part of the catchplate. The pin is completely lost.

The head of the brooch possesses two short wings which have a total width of 12.8mm. They are thin and rectangular in when viewed from the front of the brooch and are rectangular when viewed from above. 

Behind the wings is a centrally placed projecting bar which splits into two, one part at the top, one at the bottom. The top section curves up and over the front of the bow and then is squashed flat against the front of the bow to form an irregular loop. The bottom section curls upwards and to the left to form four coils before curling up over itself and through the loop above the bow and then curls to form four further coils. These latter coils are out of position having not been bent to sit behind the wings instead continuing past and below them. A pin would have projected from the final coil but this is now lost to an old abraded break. A copper alloy axis bar is concreted to the inside of each set of coils.

The bow projects from the front of the wings with a width of c.4mm. It is sub-rectangular with curved corners. It gradually narrows down its length to a minimum width of 2mm at the foot which is rounded and plain. The remains of a catch plate projects from the back of the bow. It's edges are chipped although the upper edge curves to meet the back of the bow. The bow appear to have been bent over 90 degrees down its length so the catchplate is on the same plane as the wings.

The brooch has a medium green patina.

In its warped state, the brooch is 27.7mm long, 18.3mm wide c.3.2mm thick in profile and weighs 3.32 grams.

Similar brooches are illustrated by Hattat (2000: 296, fig. 155 particularly no. 1455), Mackreth (2011, pl. 22) and Bayley and Butcher (2004, 62-63 particularly No. 55 and 60). The latter describes the type as one from south-eastern Britain which are defined by their cross bar protecting an integral spring. They further state that this form was made before the Roman conquest (Bayley and Butcher 2004, 149) and continued into the middle of the 1st century AD. Both the dates provided by Hattat (2000: 296) and Mackreth (2011: 38) support this. Similar examples to this brooch are recorded on the database including OXON-D240DA, OXON-65A7B0 and OXON-D26681. A similar example held by the Oxfordshire Museums Service is OXCMS : 1984.194.sf31

Class: Colchester one piece
Sub class: Mackreth (2011) C type 2.b

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: IRON AGE
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 25
Date to: Circa AD 60

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 27.7 mm
Width: 18.3 mm
Thickness: 3.2 mm
Weight: 3.32 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Thursday 8th October 2020 - Friday 8th October 2021

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Other reference: OMS receipt 2607

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

County or Unitary authority: Oxfordshire (County)
District: South Oxfordshire (District)
Parish or ward: Cuddesdon and Denton (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SP6002
Four figure Latitude: 51.71353122
Four figure longitude: -1.13295866
1:25K map: SP6002
1:10K map: SP60SW
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
Bayley, J. and Butcher, S. 2004 Roman Brooches in Britain: A Technological and Typological Study Based on the Richborough Collection London The Society of Antiquaries
Hattatt, R. 2000 A Visual Catalogue of Richard Hattatt's Ancient Brooches Oxford Oxbow Books
Mackreth, D.F. 2011 Brooches in Late Iron Age and Roman Britain Oxford Oxbow Books

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Find number: OXON-D26681
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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: OXON
Created: 8 months ago
Updated: 2 days ago

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