SOM-390654: Roman initial T-shaped brooch

Rights Holder: Somerset County Council
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BROOCH

Unique ID: SOM-390654

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

The head and upper part of the bow of a Roman cast copper-alloy initial T-shaped brooch with hinged pin dating to c. AD 60-100. The lower part of the bow, foot and pin are missing to worn breaks. The brooch head has open-ended cylindrical wings containing an iron axis bar for the hinge. One wing has lost its upper half, possibly as a result of corrosion of the axis bar within. The complete wing is decorated with a double transverse ridge moulding towards its top with an incised line within. There is a large transverse slot through the centre of the underside of the head, between the wings, where the pin would have hinged. The iron axis bar is visible within this slot, with iron accretions on the underside of the head below. The bow is D-shaped in cross-section with a flat back and convex front. It rises at c. 60 degrees to the head before curving c. 120 degrees in the upper part of the bow, before the break. The lower part of the bow is still curving at the break. The bow tapers in width gradually but consistently from the head to the worn break. By the break it is so narrow as to appear almost oval in section. The upper part is decorated with two moulded (finely split) ribs which converge as they go down the bow to create a 'V' shape with internal gap and a step between their edge at the side of the bow (which serves to emphasise the V shaped moulding).

Bailey and Butcher (2004, 158) illustrate similar pieces although with a range of different moulded decoration and suggest a Flavian or slightly earlier date. They suggest T-shaped brooches are very variable in the decoration on their bows and this type is mainly south western in distribution. Mackreth (2011, 94/Pl. 62) illustrates a similar example, no. 2357, from an early 2nd-century context from Exeter. He suggests this group is all similar enough to perhaps suggest they emanated from a single workshop, but so far examples are only known from Somerset, including one from Ham Hill (St George Grey 1923: 109, Plate XIII). This brooch largely has a brown patina with some losses revealing light-green corrosion product; there is also some iron staining.

Class: T-shaped
Sub class: Initial

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder

Chronology

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

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 23 mm
Height: 9 mm
Width: 30.4 mm
Thickness: 3.7 mm
Weight: 4.43 g

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 16593

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Secondary material: Iron
Completeness: Fragment

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Somerset (County)
District: South Somerset (District)
To be known as: Near Wincanton

Spatial coordinates


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: Cultivated land

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

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

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