BH-DA5013: Roman dolphin variant brooch

Rights Holder: St. Albans District Council
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Unique ID: BH-DA5013

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

A Roman copper-alloy Colchester derivative Polden Hill (flat wing ends type, West Midlands) brooch, probably dating from late 1st to early 2nd century AD. The wings comprise a half-cylinder, open on the underside but with capped ends. The spring, which is intact, consists of ten coils and an external chord. A central axis bar is contained within the spring coils, passing through a perforated central lug, its ends sitting in perforations in the aforementioned end-caps. The external chord is held in place by a second perforated lug, located above that for the axis bar. The bow arches above the level of the wings, with a step on either side of its top end. It is of oval cross section and gradually tapers towards the bottom, where there is a moulded footknob and, on the underside, an openwork catchplate with two interlocking perforations and a rolled outer side. The lower end of the pin is missing.

Length: 56.5mm; width: 29.9mm; depth: 20.7mm. Weight: 18.91g.

The general form of this brooch, with its high-arching bow, is typical of mid 1st century Dolphin brooches; however, the presence of perforated central lugs is unusual, being a typical feature of the Colchester-derivative. In addition, the perforated end caps on the wings, and the presence of a step, on the back of the head, are typical features of the Polden Hill brooch rather than the Dolphin.

Class: Colchester derivative Polden Hill (flat wing ends type, West Midlands)

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 80
Date to: Circa AD 120

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 56.5 mm
Width: 29.9 mm
Weight: 18.91 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 4th January 2015

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Other reference: Ver 15/29 - 11

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Oxfordshire (County)
District: West Oxfordshire (District)
To be known as: Milton-under-Wychwood

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: Generated from computer mapping software
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 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: BH
Created: 7 years ago
Updated: 5 years ago

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