IOW-0FBB02: IOW-0FBB02 Roman Polyhedral Pin

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Unique ID: IOW-0FBB02

Object type certainty: Probably
Workflow status: Published Find published

An incomplete middle Anglo-Saxon or Roman copper-alloy polyhedral-headed pin (AD 250-410). Cool Group 15 - faceted head.

This pin has a cuboid head with the corners cut off and has a small portion of shaft. The head has fourteen facets including the top face and the underside from which the shaft projects. Each facet is lozenge-shaped and has been punched (possibly) to form a ring-and-dot motif. Beneath the head the shaft is circular in cross-section. It tapers from the head towards an abraded break.

This pin is light brown and the surfaces are coarse. The break on the shaft is old. Overall height: 14.63mm; width of head: 7.57mm; thickness of head: 6.81mm; height of head: 10.42m; diameter of shaft at the top: 3.13mm. Weight: 2.75g.

Polyhedral pins are dated to both the Roman and Early-Medieval periods but the absence of a collar beneath the head on this example suggests that it is probably Roman. Similar pins are illustrated in Crummy, 1981, The Roman Small Finds from Excavations in Colchester 1971-9, page 29. These are dated to AD 250 or later. The head is of Cool's Group 15 type (Cool, 1990, 164-165, fig. 9).

Reference: Cool, H. 1990. Roman Metal Hair Pins from Southern Britain. Archaeological Journal. 147. 148-182.

Dr Kevin Leahy writes: while the above discussion is correct it should be pointed out that pins head of this form are unbiquitous on Middle Anglo-Saxon sites and this dating is at least as likely as Roman.

Class: Polyhedral

Subsequent actions

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


Broad period: ROMAN
Subperiod from: Late
Period from: ROMAN
Subperiod to: Middle
Ascribed Culture: Anglo-Saxon style
Date from: Exactly AD 250
Date to: Exactly AD 920

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Height: 14.63 mm
Width: 7.57 mm
Thickness: 6.81 mm
Weight: 2.75 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 2nd June 2013

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Other reference: IOW2013-1-308

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)
District: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Isle of Wight

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: Club rally
Current location: Finder
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Operations to a depth greater than 0.25m

References cited

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
Cool, H.E.M. 1991 Roman metal hair pins from southern Britain London Royal Archaeological Institute 164-165, fig. 9
Crummy, N. 1983 Colchester Archaeological Report 2: The Roman small finds from excavations in Colchester, 1971-9 Colchester Colchester Archaeological Trust Ltd 29

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: IOW
Created: 9 years ago
Updated: 7 years ago

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