SUSS-075460: Roman Zoomorphic Plate Brooch

Rights Holder: Sussex Archaeological Society
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Unique ID: SUSS-075460

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

An incomplete cast copper-alloy Roman zoomorphic plate brooch, dating to c. 2nd century AD. The brooch is nearly complete, missing only a portion of its spring, pin and some of its enamel inlay.

The brooch is in the form of a boar, depicted with upturned snout, traces of two forward-projecting ears, a high forehead, bristling back with mane, followed by a concave waist and a raised haunch with further bristles and a short tail. It is depicted in profile, with two legs and a single incised ring-and-dot eye. The boar's face seems to have light surface stippling, perhaps to indicate whiskers or further bristles. The boar's body is embellished with a recessed central cell of elliptical shape running from the back of its head to tail, which is delineated into two sections with a raised transverse line, creating a backwards 'S-curve' which ends in a small pellet. A further two raised pellets are placed evenly in the upper section of the recessed space. Remains of red enamel are visible in the lower smaller section; it is likely from trace elements in the upper section that this area was also inlaid with enamel of uncertain colour. The profile of the brooch is slightly curved convex. The reverse of the brooch is undecorated, with the remains of a sub-triangular catchplate and a portion of the spring mechanism, consisting of two of possibly six coils, the chord running below the spring coils and an iron axial pin. The brooch measures 37.6 mm long, 18.8 mm wide, 1.9 mm tick and weighs 6.1 grams.

The brooch is similar to an example from Aldborough, North Yorks, although that brooch is inlaid with red, blue and green enamel and has no dots in the body cell. For similar PAS database examples, cf.: SUSS-DB2C32 and WILT-A2E866.

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

Find of note status

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

Class: Zoomorphic (boar)

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 100
Date to: Circa AD 200

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 37.6 mm
Width: 18.8 mm
Thickness: 1.9 mm
Weight: 6.1 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Thursday 21st March 2013

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mrs Sarah Hoile
Identified by: Miss Stephanie Smith

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Secondary material: Enamel
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: West Sussex (County)
District: Chichester (District)
To be known as: Near Chichester

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: Date listed is date submitted for recording.

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SUSS
Created: 5 years ago
Updated: 5 years ago

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