SWYOR-E54DB2: Roman vessel; wine jug

Rights Holder: West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service
CC License:

Rights Holder: West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service
CC License:

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Unique ID: SWYOR-E54DB2

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

A copper alloy handle from a Roman vessel; a wine jug or oenochoe. Only the handle survives. The handle is upstanding above the rim and is T shaped. The cross bar of the T fitted onto the top of the rim and has a groove for this purpose. The cross bar terminates in finely moulded multi-lobed border round a flat end. The handle arches strongly upwards from the rim of the vessel and then curves downwards in an elegant S shape. On the front of the handle, looking into the vessel is an intricately moulded lion's mask with a snarling open mouth. The teeth and lips are carefully detailed, as is the musclelature of the face. The eyes are silvered, and the kidney shaped ears are outlined with silver wire. The edge of the handle next to the lion's head is beaded, and the head is set on a shield shaped raised area representing the mane, decorated with curved incised lines. The mane continues up to the top of the handle. It is represented by thick herringbone patterns. The back of the handle, facing away from the vessel has a pronounced central rib which probably represents a salamander with legs splitting out to the sides. At the top, it terminates in a hooded head which links to the mane. The rest of the back of the handle is ribbed. The inside of the handle is smooth. At the base of the handle, the central rib develops into the tail of the salamander and the terminal of the handle is in the form of a lion's paw. The spaces between the four toes are open and the claws are detailed, semi-sheathed. The edges of the terminal are jagged where the vessel wall was once attached. The handle has a beautiful smooth grey patina with only a few small areas of corrosion where the patina has been damaged. The metal is a greener colour where the wall of the vessel or the rim was attached.

The handle would have come from a vessel similar to one found by Oxford Archaeology in Kent close to the A2 bewteen Pepperhill and Cobham during a road improvement scheme. This was found in a high status Roman burial pit and dates from the 1st century. See http://www.stfc.ac.uk/News%20and%20Events/5721.aspx and http://www.thehumanjourney.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=224&Itemid=129 for a mention of these finds. Other similar vessels have also been found at Pompeii and Herculaneum and are catalogued in Pompeii AD79 by Ward-Perkins and Claridge. Another very similar jug is recorded from the high status tumulus at Cortil-Noirmont, Belgium. They have 2nd and 3rd century dates.

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: National importance

Class: jug
Sub class: handle

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 43
Date to: Circa AD 300

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 127.13 mm
Width: 75.43 mm
Thickness: 54.1 mm
Weight: 245 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Tuesday 1st June 2010 - Wednesday 30th June 2010

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Other reference: Wakefield Museum Entry Form number 2119

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Secondary material: Silver
Manufacture method: Cast
Decoration style: Zoomorphic
Completeness: Incomplete
Surface Treatment: Inlaid with other or unknown

Spatial metadata

Region: Yorkshire and the Humber (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: North Lincolnshire (Unitary Authority)
District: North Lincolnshire (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Appleby

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

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SWYOR
Created: 11 years ago
Updated: 4 years ago

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