SOM-9F9187: Roman developed T-shaped brooch

Rights Holder: Somerset County Council
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Unique ID: SOM-9F9187

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

An incomplete large Roman cast copper-alloy developed T-shaped brooch dating to the late 1st to early 2nd century AD. The pin, lower part of the bow and the foot are missing following old damage. The head has two hollow cylindrical wings with flattened upper surfaces. They held the axis bar for the hinged pin. The axis bar survives in part, largely corroded, made of iron. Between the wings on the under side of the head is a slot in which the pin would have hinged. On the underside of the wings behind the slot is a thickened patch which may have helped retain the pin in use. Running across the front of the wings, above the slot and below a moulding at the head, is a double groove. At least to one side of the head the ridge between the grooves is decorated with fine transversely incised nicks. The upper surface of the wings is decorated on each side with a pair of grooves adjacent to the bow and at the tips. As before, ridge between the grooves is decorated with fine transversely incised nicks.

The bow has a sub-rectangular shaped cross-section with a slightly convex front and flat back and sides. It is distinctly stepped to either side on the upper surface and dominated by a large central rectangular moulded panel. The bow projects at 45 degrees from the head then immediately curves down at c.45 degrees before ending in a worn diagonal break. It tapers slightly, but evenly, in width from the head to break (16.3 to 11.9mm across). Both the edges and the edges of the rectangular panel are decorated with a groove itself covered in fine transversely incised nicks. There is a similar groove across the short front end of the panel. Set in from this latter is a small integral annular headstud which appears empty. Below is an inverted triangular recess delineated by incised lines, below which a lozengiform recess and the beginnings of a second lozengiform recess lost to the break, both also delineated. The complete lozengiform recess retains enamel that has decayed to a light-green colour.

T-shaped brooches are very variable in the decoration on their bows although incised decoration and raised lozenges, often containing enamel, are common. Bayley and Butcher (2004, 167) suggest this type is mainly South Western in distribution and dates to the later first - early 2nd century AD (c. AD 75-150). This piece has a even mid-/light-green patina with some patches of dark-orange corrosion product from the axis bar.

Class: T-shaped
Sub class: Developed

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 75
Date to: Circa AD 150

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 22.8 mm
Height: 13.5 mm
Width: 47.4 mm
Weight: 22.88 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
Secondary material: Iron
Completeness: Incomplete
Surface Treatment: Inlaid with enamel

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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