SOM-ACACA4: Roman initial T-shaped brooch

Rights Holder: Somerset County Council
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Object type certainty: Certain
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A Roman copper-alloy initial T-shaped brooch, incomplete in so far as it is missing the majority of its pin. The brooch consists of cylindrical wings, bow and foot with catch-plate at the back. The wings are decorated with a pair of incised lines at their tip on the upper surface. The front of this decoration is demarcated by a incised longitudinal line which travels towards the slot, without reaching it. The remains of the circular copper alloy axis bar is visible at the tips. Between the wings is a slot in which the remnants of the pin are hinged. The pin has a pointed spur at its head to aid hinging. It narrows to a circular cross-section before an early break. What survives has been bent downwards towards the back of the bow on the left hand side (when viewed in plan from below).

The bow projects from the front of the brooch in the centre of the head, intially at about 45 degrees before curving round and gradually travelling to the foot. It tapers in width to the foot. The bow is 'D'-shaped in section with a flat back and shallowly convex front. The upper surface has a triangular moulding at the front of the bow, just above the slot. This is decorated at its front by two diagonally incised lines that follow the sides of the moulding, with three transversely incised lines below. The majority of the upper surface of the bow features an indented groove of V-shaped cross-section. At the foot this meets a zone of finely incised transverse lines. The foot terminates in rounded knop projecting forwards from the front of the foot. The back of the foot has a sub-triangular catch-plate whose web measures 12.8mm long. The outer edge of the catch-plate curves back and has a groove below it in which the pin would have rested.

Bayley and Butcher (2004, 158) illustrate a broadly similar example, T137, with a plainer bow.. They suggest (ibid., 159) 'Initial T-shaped' brooches to be 'usually hinged, not enamelled but sometimes with fine relief decoration and lacking a head loop', dated to the Flavian period (AD 69-96) or earlier. This brooch has a dark-grey patina with some patches of light-green corrosion product. The bow has been buckled slightly as a result of old damage.

Class: T-shaped
Sub class: initial

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 60
Date to: Circa AD 100

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 43.3 mm
Height: 12.2 mm
Width: 26.8 mm
Thickness: 2.9 mm
Weight: 7.67 g

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Other reference: SCC receipt 22390

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

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

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: Centred on field
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
Bayley, J. and Butcher, S. 2004 Roman Brooches in Britain: A Technological and Typological Study Based on the Richborough Collection London The Society of Antiquaries 158 T137

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SOM
Created: 8 years ago
Updated: 8 years ago

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