BUC-544E73: Roman pin

Rights Holder: Buckinghamshire County Council
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Unique ID: BUC-544E73

Object type certainty: Probably
Workflow status: Published Find published

A copper alloy pin with the head in the form of a human head and upper torso. The face has somewhat triangular eyes, a straight nose and a simple line for the mouth. The hairstyle consists of a finely incised plait which encircles the head. From the back of the head protrudes a curved crest with a plait along it and a circular hole through it. A line runs around the neck and one wrist of the figure, possibly signifying jewellery. Ring and dot has been used to signify breasts and the figure stands with one hand on its hip and the other on the stomach. The body ends with an incised band of diagonal lines. Below the figure is a circular baluster before the pin shaft. These are decorated with incised lines which, like the bottom border, do not appear on the back of the pin. The pin shaft is square sectioned.


The British Museum specialist writes "Despite the size and squarish shaft I regard it as a Romano-British hair pin, appropriately depicting a woman with a fancy coiffeur. The destinctive positioning of the hands is reminiscent of an object from the Lydney Romano-British temple site, and may have been an allusion to childbirth/fertility. It is not possible to date it more closely than 1st to 4th century AD." I am indebted to Ralph Jackson for this comment.

Find of note status

This has been noted as an interesting find by the recorder.

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: returned to finder
Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


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: 70.55 mm
Width: 16.4 mm
Thickness: 5.1 mm
Weight: 22 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 1st May 2002

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Museum accession number: AYBCM Entry no 3223

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Cast
Decoration method: Incised
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: West Berkshire (Unitary Authority)
District: West Berkshire (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: East Ilsley

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: returned to finder

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: BUC
Created: 18 years ago
Updated: 5 years ago

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