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SF-4E26D1: Possible Roman vessel mount

Rights Holder: Suffolk County Council
CC License:


Rights Holder: Suffolk County Council
CC License:

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VESSEL

Unique ID: SF-4E26D1

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

A cast copper-alloy vessel or box mount of possible Roman date. It is pointed-oval shaped in plan, triangular in section with concave back face and moulded front face in the form of a lion's face. At the base of the mount are incised vertical grooves forming the mane. Above this is a slightly open mouth with a projecting triangular nose/snout. This has two small oval shaped nostrils below which are five opposing pairs of transverse grooves that represent the whiskers. The face has slightly rounded cheeks and a prominent nose that runs from the mouth to the centre of the forehead. To either side are sunken oval shaped eyes with incised decoration and prominent bushy and curving eyebrows. The back face is concave with no apparent decoration or means of attachment, and both faces have a corroded and pitted dark green patina. It measures 32.10mm in length, 23.58mm in width, 14.61mm in height/thickness and 11.79g in weight.

Mounts or studs in the form of lion's heads have been noted at a number of locations in Suffolk (e.g. SF-0096E3, SF-5AC647, SF-7A9D56, SF-8842 and SF-8319). They would have originally be attached to decorative wooden cremation caskets, such as examples noted in Essex (ESS-1AAD74) and at Skeleton Green (Partridge, 1981: pp. 312-316). Their usage is believed to represent the devouring power of death and the lion's head motif appears frequently on provincial Roman funerary monuments (Partridge, 1981: pp. 315). The current example differs slightly in both form and the means of attachment, which remains uncertain. It is possible that it performed a similar function, although it also shares some similarities with concave vessel mounts of the Roman period that might indicate a differing usage. It is likely to be of Roman date, c.43-410 AD.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder

Chronology

Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 43
Date to: Circa AD 410

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 32.1 mm
Width: 23.58 mm
Thickness: 14.61 mm
Weight: 11.79 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 23rd November 2011

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

SMR reference number: MKE 005

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Suffolk (County)
District: Babergh (District)
To be known as: Monks Eleigh

Spatial coordinates


Grid reference source: Generated from computer mapping software
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 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: 10 years ago
Updated: 10 years ago

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