SF-8EE838: Roman Bow Brooch

Rights Holder: Suffolk County Council Archaeology Service
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Unique ID: SF-8EE838

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

An incomplete and worn cast copper alloy Roman Colchester derivative brooch, probably a double pierced lug type of 1st century AD date. Approximately three quarters of the bow survives intact, as well as the top of the catchplate, however, the wings, pierced lug, foot, spring and pin are all missing due to old breaks. What remains of the wings suggests they were semi-cylindrical in form and separated by a rear facing pierced lug. The old breaks to each side of the head perhaps indicate that either the wings were simply hinted at in initial production and were never very large if present at all, or that they were carefully cut or broken in exactly the same place on each side of the brooch. Extending forwards from the lug and running down the middle of the bow is a small and prominent ridge that finishes at the curved of the bow. The bow itself is D-shaped in section with a flat back and domed front face, and tapers towards the base of the surviving fragment. Half way down the bow is a prominent and raised moulded section that has an uncertain form due to the preservation of the object, but clear transverse moulded grooves are just visible. The sides of the bow, to either side of the moulded section, have been deliberately flattened in antiquity, perhaps as part of the original form or possibly also through later re-use or modification. The bow terminates in a very clean and flat old break that might also have been deliberate. On the flat back face can be seen the start of the catchplate, which is flat, triangular in form and terminates in old breaks. This brooch measures 39.41mm in length, 8.52mm in width, 7.55mm in thickness at central moulded area, and weighs 15.68g. The head and catchplate of the brooch suggest it should technically be classed as a Colchester derivative brooch and probably a double pierced lug variety. However, the prominent moulded section at the centre of the bow is an unusual feature on brooches of this type and is more commonly found on other brooch forms, such as Roman trumpet brooches. The very careful clean breaks at the wings and the base of the bow, as well as the flattened sides, all of which are ancient features, may indicate either possible brooch production or instead the modification of the brooch at a later date. Whichever may have been the case a date in the 1st century AD seems likely for this example, perhaps c.43-100 AD.


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 43
Date to: Circa AD 100

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 39.41 mm
Width: 8.52 mm
Thickness: 7.55 mm
Weight: 15.68 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 1st March 2009

Personal details

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

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Cambridgeshire (County)
District: South Cambridgeshire (District)
To be known as: Stow cum Quy

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

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

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SF
Created: 9 years ago
Updated: 8 years ago

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