SF-2A9F82: Roman P-Shaped Bow Brooch

Rights Holder: Suffolk County Council Archaeology Service
CC License:

Rights Holder: Suffolk County Council Archaeology Service
CC License:

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Unique ID: SF-2A9F82

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

A copper alloy Roman P-Shaped brooch of third century AD date. The brooch is missing part of the catchplate and a knop at the top of the head due to old breaks, the axis bar and pin are present but detatched from the brooch itself. It has semi-cylindrical wings enclosed at each end to secure the axis bar, circular perforations are visible in each of the end-plates for the attachment of the bar. Two transverse parallel grooves run the length of the wings, above which is a perforation where a projecting knop would have been attached. The bow is curved, flat in section and slightly bent to one side, with a deep central groove to which is attached a separate plate with four projecting knops. The single rivet holding the plate to the bow is visible on the back of the bow. On the front face of the bow, to each side of the attached central plate, are two parallel vertical grooves that run the same length as the plate, with transverse double parallel grooves above and below. A semi-circular transverse flange projects from the bow just above the angle with the lower bow and foot. The lower part of the bow is faceted and terminates with a transverse moulding at the foot. The catchplate is semi-cylindircal in shape, enclosed at the base, and missing the upper portions due to old breaks. There are traces of an added white metal coating on the exterior surfaces of the bow. The brooch measures 56.15mm in length, 22.93mm in width, and weighs 14.06g. The axis bar is cylindrical in section with flattened terminal ends, measures 22.65mm in length and weighs 0.45g. The pin is flattened at one terminal and hooked in order to attach it to the axis bar. It tapers towards a point at the opposite terminal, which may be incomplete due to old breaks. The pin measures 36.03mm in length and weighs 0.38g. Parallels to this brooch can be noted in Hattatt from Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk (1985: pp. 127 no. 494) and from Richborough (Bayley and Butcher, 2004: pp. 102-103, no. 247). Hattat regards this group of P-shaped brooches as being of continental origin and early-3rd century AD in date (Hattatt, 1985: 127), and while a similar date (c.220 AD) is offered by Bayley and Butcher (2004: pp. 103) they suggest they were rare on the continent and may have been of British production. Whether continental or British in origin, it is possible to suggest a date in the early-3rd century AD for this example.


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 200
Date to: Circa AD 250

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 56.15 mm
Width: 22.93 mm
Weight: 14.06 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Friday 1st September 2006

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Andrew Brown
Identified by: Dr Andrew Brown

Other reference numbers

Other reference: Finder's Ref. PSW 3 Small Hill Field 018

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Suffolk (County)
District: Forest Heath (District)
To be known as: Mildenhall

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SF
Created: 10 years ago
Updated: 8 years ago

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