SOM-51B658: SOM-51B658: Medieval ampulla

Rights Holder: Somerset County Council
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AMPULLA

Unique ID: SOM-51B658

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

Incomplete Medieval cast lead ampulla (pilgrim souvenir). It has a sub-circular body, with a trapezoid neck extending from one end. Originally hollow inside, both faces have now been crushed together. One side of the neck is damaged with a few small pieces missing. The metal is greyish-white in colour and slightly pitted. One face of the body is decorated with the scallop shell design common on Medieval ampulla. The scallop shell was an emblem associated with St James the Greater and one that was so popular from the 11th century onwards that it eventually became a generic emblem for the act of pilgrimage itself (Spencer, 1998, 41). Canterbury first adopted the design as its emblem on earlier ampullae, but it was later used at a number of other shrines too (ibid.). Spencer (ibid., 3) suggests that ampulla were popular in England from the second half of the 12th century until the early 14th century, when they were largely replaced by badges as the most popular type of pilgrimage momento. Length: 54.22mm, Width: 32.20mm, Thickness: 6.72mm, Weight: 43.7g

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder

Chronology

Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1150
Date to: Circa AD 1350

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 54.22 mm
Width: 32.2 mm
Thickness: 6.72 mm
Weight: 43.7 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 10th February 2010

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Other reference: Entry 020708

Materials and construction

Primary material: Lead
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Somerset (County)
District: Mendip (District)
To be known as: Chewton Mendip

Spatial coordinates


Grid reference source: From finder
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

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
Spencer, B. 1998 Pilgrim Souvenirs and Secular Badges London Medieval Finds from Excavations in London 7 3, 41

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SOM
Created: 12 years ago
Updated: 11 years ago

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