SOM-7ED8B2: Roman zoomorphic plate brooch (sea monster)

Rights Holder: Somerset County Council
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Unique ID: SOM-7ED8B2

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

A copper-alloy Roman zoomorphic plate brooch in the shape of fabulous creature, a sea monster with two heads, of Feugère's type 29a5 (c. 2nd century AD). The creature has a curved L-shaped body and is going right with its head looking backwards. At the other end the tail loops round on itself, curving at its tip to face the head in a zoomorphic terminal. Protruding from the loop of the tail is a triangular projection. This projection features an enamelled cell, largely red apart form a central pellet in a different colour, now decayed. The animal's main body also features a curved L-shaped cell decorated with alternating stripes of red and the decayed colour, now light green. The extremities of the animal are well moulded: curved legs and feet emerging from both bottom corners. Both heads have small crests and gaping mouths. The head has a punched eye and transverse nicks along the ridged neck. The smaller head with which the tail terminates has a punched ring-and-dot eye, and the long neck is decorated with a row of punched crescents. Further small transverse nicks can be found along the base of the brooch and on the top of the triangular projection at the tail.

On the lower surface is a double D-shaped pin lug just before the loop of the tail. This retains a small axis bar and the spurred head of a pin, truncated at the head. A D-shaped catch-plate survives well at the leading edge of the brooch, at the top of the foot. A broken example of this type can be found illustrated in Hattatt (2000, 363; ref. 1417), with other examples listed by Feugère (1985, 400-401) from various findspots in northwest Europe. The triangular projection has been bent upwards slightly following old damage. The brooch survives very well with an even mid-green patina.

Find of note status

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

Class: Zoomorphic (fabulous creature)
Sub class: Feugère type 29a5

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


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

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 40.1 mm
Height: 9.3 mm
Width: 25.3 mm
Thickness: 2.8 mm
Weight: 8.27 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 7th July 2013

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 22370

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
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: Somerton

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Grassland, Heathland

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SOM
Created: 5 years ago
Updated: 4 months ago

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