WAW-2DDCF5: Iron Age or Roman cosmetic mortar (profile and plan).

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
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Unique ID: WAW-2DDCF5

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

Iron Age to Roman (-100 to 200) cosmetic mortar: The copper alloy mortar is crescentic in profile and an elongated pointed oval in plan whose terminals are slightly bulbous knops. In section the mortar has a 'V' shaped section which is narrow and quite shallow. On the outer face of the mortar, at the apex there is an incomplete integral loop. The side faces are undecorated. The surface of the mortar has traces of a mid blue/green patina otherwise it is heavily abraded. It measures 39.09mm long, 5.34mm thick at the centre and weighs 3.4g.

Cosmetic mortars such as this would have formed part of cosmetic sets, the now missing corresponding pestle allowing for the grinding of small amounts of cosmetic powders. Jackson (2010:67) writes that cosmetic mortars and pestles are a British phenomenon, and at the time of writing c. 1000 were known, with only five known outside of the UK. Precise dating is not certain, but they can be dated to the late Iron Age to early Roman periods, circa 100 BC - 200 AD. Jackson illustrates a similar mortar, for example No. 260a.

Jackson, R. 2010 Cosmetic Sets of Late Iron Age and Roman Britain British Museum Research Publication No. 181.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: IRON AGE
Subperiod from: Late
Period from: IRON AGE
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa 100 BC
Date to: Circa AD 200

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 39.09 mm
Width: 5.34 mm
Weight: 3.4 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Friday 10th January 2014

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Angie Bolton
Identified by: Ms Angie Bolton

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: West Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)
District: County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Colwall (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SO7542
Four figure Latitude: 52.07579262
Four figure longitude: -2.3661827
1:25K map: SO7542
1:10K map: SO74SE
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 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: WAW
Created: 4 years ago
Updated: 4 years ago

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