ESS-33D3A2: Roman figurine

Rights Holder: Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service
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Unique ID: ESS-33D3A2

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

An incomplete cast, copper alloy figurine dating to the Roman period. The figurine is of a man, stood with legs apart and arms raised at shoulder height. The figure's left arm is held out with the elbow bent and forearm pointing upwards. The left arm is held at the same height at the right, but the elbow bends so that the arm begins to point down. Both arms terminate in old breaks just after the elbow. The legs are broken after the knee with worn breaks. The waist is narrowed formed of a shallow curve between under-arm and hip. The figure's right leg appears to bend slightly at the knee whereas the left leg appears straight - probably indicating the contrappostal pose, a technique deployed to evoke life in the figurine. The figure is wearing a pleated skirt and has a moulded belt, formed of three ridges, at the waist. A hooded cloak drapes across the shoulders at the front, fastened at the figure's right shoulder and falling to knee level on the back. The hood frames the face at the top of the forehead and rises to a crest in the centre of the head which runs to the nape of the neck on the reverse. The cloak is rectangular and forms a flat plate and no effort is made to make it fall naturally as expected from fabric. The cloak bears an incised double 'V' shape from shoulders to bottom of cloak on the back of the figure. A pattern of repeating chevrons runs from top to bottom on the left and right edges, filling the triangular space between the deep 'V's. A moulded rectangular bar projects from the nape of the neck on the reverse across the right shoulder, extending above the shoulder so that it is visible from the front.

The face is simple and not realistically realised; formed of slightly depressed eye sockets with raised circular eyes, a rounded projecting nose and an ovoid mouth with flat slit in the centre indicating lips. A circular pierced hole is present on the cloak at waist height on the figure's left side, possibly indicating mounting of the figure and possibly explaining the flat reverse of the cloak.

The figure measures 64.9mm in length, 48.05mm in width at the arms, 21.8mm in width at the cloak and 17.3mm in thickness. It weighs 65.84g.

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: National importance

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by a museum - not a Treasure case


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

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 64.9 mm
Width: 48.05 mm
Thickness: 17.3 mm
Weight: 65.84 g

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Other reference: CIMS OEF 7541

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Essex (County)
District: Chelmsford (District)
To be known as: Roxwell area

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

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: ESS
Created: 8 years ago
Updated: About one year ago

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