SWYOR-9B8561: Unidentified Odbject

Rights Holder: West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service
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Unique ID: SWYOR-9B8561

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Terminal of a cignus type Roman spoon in the form of a bird's head; the rest of the handle and the spoon bowl are missing. The head is long and narrow, with a flaring, round-ended beak. A groove around this forms the mouth, and has small jagged notches forming teeth. There is a humped brow over the eyes, and between the vertical wall of this and the horizontal beak is a ridged moulding. There is an eye to either side of the brow; on one side this consists of a circular groove with an S-shaped eyebrow above, but on the other side the eye is made from the curled end of the eyebrow. The width of the head has continued to taper, and now is just 2.6mm wide; here a circular-section neck turns at right angles to the head, and is broken (worn break). The underside of the head is flat and undecorated. The grooves are currently filled with soil but may once have contained niello inlay.

Dimensions: length 20.46 mm, maximum width 4.16 mm, maximum thickness of head 5.42mm, total thickness including neck stub c. 8mm. Weight 2.17g.

Discussion: the fragment of spoon comes from a type known as the cignus, a spoon with an oval bowl and a curved handle which ends in a bird's head form. The best comparisons come from the Hoxne treasure, for instance BM BEP 1994,0408.85 (Johns 2010, p. 228). There is also the possibility that the fragment should be considered as Hacksilber, i.e. deliberately cut from the original object to create a small piece of bullion.


The object contains a minimum of 10% precious metal and is over 300 years old. Consequently it qualifies as Treasure under the stipulations of the Treasure Act 1996 in terms of both age and precious metal content.

Class: Terminal

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: ERYMS
Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2013T546


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Subperiod to: Late
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 300
Date to: Circa AD 400

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 20.46 mm
Width: 4.16 mm
Thickness: 5.42 mm
Weight: 2.17 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 14th April 2013 - Sunday 14th April 2013

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Helen Geake
Identified by: Dr Richard Hobbs

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2013T546

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Decoration style: Zoomorphic
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: Yorkshire and the Humber (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)
District: East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Ferriby

Spatial coordinates

Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: ERYMS
General landuse: Other
Specific landuse: Other

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SWYOR
Created: 5 years ago
Updated: 2 years ago

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