SOM-4AC795: Roman zoomorphic plate brooch (rabbit)

Rights Holder: Somerset County Council
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Unique ID: SOM-4AC795

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

A copper-alloy Roman zoomorphic plate brooch in the shape of a rabbit shown in profile. The rabbit is depicted seated with compact, rounded body and proportionally small head. The fore and hind paws seem to be truncated, but would not have been that prominent to judge from comparanda. The eye is formed of a punch and a small ear extends behind the head. The body is corroded and pitted; it is pitting that seems visible rather than recesses for enamel found on similar brooches. The lower surface features a broken and abraded double pin lug at the centre of the rabbit's rear, and a abraded catch-plate at the fore leg; the pin itself is now missing. Zoomorphic brooches in the shape of rabbits appear to be rare, compared to the hare, which is often shown running. Three examples can be found illustrated in Hattatt (2000, 362; refs. 1192, 1632, 1633). This object has been bent following old damage. It has corroded to a dark-brown colour with some patches of green corrosion product.


This object provides an interesting artefactual addition to historical and zooarchaeological debates regarding the dating of the introduction of rabbits to Britain, albeit recent proofs have shown that they were a Roman novelty.

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: Potential for inclusion in Britannia

Class: zoomorphic (Rabbit)

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


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

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 21.1 mm
Height: 3.2 mm
Width: 15 mm
Thickness: 2.1 mm
Weight: 1.95 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Robert Webley
Identified by: Mr Robert Webley

Other reference numbers

Other reference: SCC receipt 21984

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Somerset (County)
District: South Somerset (District)
To be known as: Misterton CP

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

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

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