WMID-795444: Medieval: Incomplete ampulla

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AMPULLA

Unique ID: WMID-795444

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

An incomplete lead or lead alloy ampulla, of Medieval dating (AD 1175 to AD1500).

Approximately 50% of the ampulla is present, with incomplete handles and top. It is sub rectangular in shape, with a horizontal linear upper edge and a narrowed neck. This horizontal edge of the ampulla has been pushed together. Just below the upper edge the neck of the ampulla is slightly waisted with the remains of a lug on both sides. The ampulla is slightly bulbous, but the surface is undulating due to damage, and has a slightly bevelled edge around the lower edge. The original designs are difficult to determine. A casting seam is present around the sides of the ampulla.

The ampulla measures 39.2 mm in length, 31.2 mm wide and 8.6 mm thick. It weighs 33.5 g.

The ampulla is a light grey to white colour, with an even surface patina.

Ampullae were used as a flask to hold holy water, becoming a souvenir of a pilgrimage; they generally date to the late 12th to 15th centuries (Spencer, 1990, 57). The style of this ampulla is of a late Medieval date where ampulla becomes smaller and less ornate (ibid: 205). Ampullae such as this type are rarely found in urban areas, but more in rural areas which may reflect the folk practice such as burying the ampulla in fields to protect crops and livestock from illness (ibid: 205).

Reference:
Spencer, B. 1990. Pilgrim Souvenirs and Secular Badges. Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder

Chronology

Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1175
Date to: Circa AD 1500

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 39.2 mm
Width: 31.2 mm
Thickness: 8.6 mm
Weight: 33.5 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 25th March 2015 - Wednesday 25th March 2015

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Teresa Gilmore
Identified by: Miss Teresa Gilmore

Materials and construction

Primary material: Lead
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: West Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Staffordshire (County)
District: East Staffordshire (District)
Parish or ward: Mayfield (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SK1545
Four figure Latitude: 53.00211172
Four figure longitude: -1.77793212
1:25K map: SK1545
1:10K map: SK14NE
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: found whilst out metal detecting
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

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

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