SF-807ED7: Roman crossbow brooch

Rights Holder: Suffolk County Council
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Unique ID: SF-807ED7

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

An incomplete copper-alloy Roman crossbow brooch. It is missing the end and knop of one crossarm, the pin, foot and catchplate due to old breaks. The cross arms are rectangular in form and section, with decoration on their upper edges comprising two triangular notches on each arm. At the terminal end of the surviving complete arm is a raised collar followed by an unfaceted onion shaped terminal knob. The rear face of the cross arm has a rectangular slot through which extends the incomplete remains of the separately cast copper-alloy pin, that is now mostly incomplete due to old breaks. At the head of the brooch is a separately cast copper-alloy knob that is unfaceted, onion shaped in form and connected to the bow by a copper-alloy rivet that is has a flattened head visible on the underside of the head. The bow itself is triangular in section with flat back face and prominent vertical rib on the front face that has a small insiced groove visible at the head beneath the knob. Towards the base of the surviving fragment is a raised transverse ridge or collar, beneath which extends the remains of the incomplete bow or foot. This has a deeply incised groove on its front face giving it a U-shaped cross-section, perhaps as a result of deliberate later re-use or modification. The entire object measures 45.10mm in length, 30.35mm in width at wings/cross arm, 6.74mm in width at bow, 5.54mm in thickness at bow, and 16.91g in weight.

This is an incomplete Roman brooch of crossbow form. It finds its closest parallels in Swift's Type 3/4 crossbow brooches (Swift, 2000: pp. 14-15), suggesting a 4th century AD date for the brooch, perhaps c.330-410 AD.

Class: Crossbow (heavy)
Sub class: Swift's Type 3/4

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 330
Date to: Circa AD 409

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 45.1 mm
Width: 30.35 mm
Thickness: 5.54 mm
Weight: 16.91 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 1st September 2012

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Other reference: Finder's Ref.:

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Suffolk (County)
District: Suffolk Coastal (District)
To be known as: Alderton

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
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SF
Created: 8 years ago
Updated: 5 years ago

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