NMGW-2191FB: Roman bow brooch of Crossbow variant type

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Unique ID: NMGW-2191FB

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

Roman copper alloy bow brooch of Crossbow variant type and of 3rd or 4th century date

The brooch is fragmentary, missing the pin, most of the foot and the end of one arm (with a surviving length of 64.0mm and a weight of 7.4g). The pin was hinged within sub-circular cylindrical arms formed by rolled sheet copper alloy (with a surviving length of 42.3mm and a diameter of 5.2mm - 6.1mm). The axis bar does not survive and the one surviving knob (9.3mm maximum diameter and 6.9mm long) appears to have been of iron but is no longer ferrous through corrosion. The knob was of uncertain form, possibly conical or hemispherical. The terminals of the rolled arms overlap with the beginning of the knob, suggesting the knob was not of onion form. There does not appear to have been a knob at the head unless a knob was inserted at the apex of the slot for the pin. At the head, the bow is rectangular-sectioned (with a thickness of 5.1mm and a maximum width of 9mm) and narrows sharply to the flat-sectioned bow (with a width of 1.8mm - 2.1mm). The head and bow are also constructed of folded sheet metal, as evidenced by a seam on one side of the head and along the edge of the bow. The bow has the characteristic wide and deep arch (with a depth of 22mm and a length of 44mm). The foot is corroded to a point (with a surviving length of 15.5mm and a surviving width of 2.0mm). The surface is heavily corroded and has been lost and subsequently any surviving applied decoration does not survive.

Crossbow type brooches are infrequently reported from Wales, although examples are know from excavations at Segontium and Carmarthen. This example, carefully forged in sheet bronze may be seen as unusual and the probable lack of the central knob would reinforce this. Subsequently, it is difficult to fit the brooch into Keeler's typological groupings of Crossbow brooches. The general form and dimensions (but not the features) are perhaps more consistent with Keeler's Type 1 - 3, perhaps tentatively dated to the mid to late 4th century.

Find of note status

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

Class: bow brooch of Crossbow type

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 200
Date to: Circa AD 400

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 64 mm
Weight: 7.4 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Wenke Domscheit
Identified by: Mr Mark Lodwick

Other reference numbers

Other reference: NMWPA 2014.60.1

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Decoration style: Other
Completeness: Fragment

Spatial metadata

Region: Wales (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Swansea (Unitary Authority)
District: Swansea (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Mumbles (Community)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SS6290
Four figure Latitude: 51.59189924
Four figure longitude: -3.99354509
1:25K map: SS6290
1:10K map: SS69SW
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NMGW
Created: 4 years ago
Updated: 4 years ago

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