BERK-B61561: Roman vessel: Oil flask swivel

Rights Holder: Oxfordshire County Council
CC License:

Image use policy

Our images can be used under a CC BY attribution licence (unless stated otherwise).


Unique ID: BERK-B61561

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

A copper alloy swivel and suspension ring from a Roman oil flask. The swivel is broadly pelta-shaped with two hooked arms either side of a cylindrical shaft. The hooked arms terminate in expanded rounded terminals while the cylindrical shaft has three cutaways which allows the swivel to sit and manoeuvre inside itself. The swivel mechanism has now corroded and the swivel no longer turns. The cylindrical shaft has flanges front and back and either side next to the hooked arms. The hooked arms would have held a pair of chains for the suspension of the flask. The top of the swivel mechanism terminates in a thick, heavy duty loop through which passes a copper alloy ring for suspension. The ring has a diagonal split through it and does show signs of wear where the swivel hangs from as the ring is worn thinner here than over the rest of the hoop. This suggests movement or friction which would concord with the use of the object, however there does not appear to be any wear to the hooked arms, where the chains that suspended the oil flask would have hung. The ring measures 23.05mm diameter (external) and is 2.94mm thick. The pelta swivel is 28.9mm wide and 22.66mm high. It has a maximum thickness of 10.62mm and weighs 15.4gms.

A similar oil flask swivel was found in Perlethorpe cum Budby (Nottinghamshire) and has been recorded onto the PAS database record no: DENO-54B3D1. Another complete example, also from Oxfordshire, is recorded as SUSS-5B9C35. An illustrated parallel can be seen in Liversage 1968:137, Fig.50.

Find of note status

This has been noted as an interesting find by the recorder.

Class: Oil flask

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 43
Date to: Circa AD 410

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Width: 28.9 mm
Thickness: 10.62 mm
Weight: 15.6 g
Diameter: 23.05 mm

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Anni Byard
Identified by: Miss Anni Byard
Secondary identifier: Mr Julian Watters

Other reference numbers

Other reference: 2013.879

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Oxfordshire (County)
District: West Oxfordshire (District)
Parish or ward: Standlake (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SP3904
Four figure Latitude: 51.73336151
Four figure longitude: -1.43666967
1:25K map: SP3904
1:10K map: SP30SE
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: Other

References cited

Similar objects

Find number: SUSS-5B9C35
Object type: VESSEL
Broadperiod: ROMAN
A cast copper alloy swivel from a Roman oil flask. The main part of the body is cylindrical, with several cut a ways which allow the swivel …
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: ESS-1DC305
Object type: VESSEL
Broadperiod: ROMAN
An incomplete copper alloy suspension swivel for an oil flask. The swivel is 43 mm in length and 39.5mm wide with a sub-circular suspension lo…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Find number: ESS-858BA7
Object type: VESSEL
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Roman (40-410AD) incomplete cast copper alloy suspension swivel for an oil flask. It has a dark green-grey patina with patches of green copper…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: BERK
Created: 5 years ago
Updated: 3 years ago

Other formats: this page is available as qrcode json xml geojson pdf rdf representations.