SOM-6EB0B7: Medieval ampulla

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Unique ID: SOM-6EB0B7

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

An incomplete medieval lead ampulla dating to the period c. AD 1350 - 1550. It has a rounded body, with a trapezoid neck extending from one end. Originally hollow inside, both faces have now been crushed together. The neck is damaged, it is now ragged where it has been torn across and there is a small piece missing at one corner. The stubs of the handles are visible on both sides of the neck, just above the point at which the body expands outwards. On one face is a relief design of a flower or four leaf motif with four large pointed oval leaves each bisected by a midline running from the central pellet to the outer point and angled ridges representing veins between the midline and the edges of the leaf. The four-leaf motif may derive from either the four-leaf clover, or the true-love plant. The opposite face exhibits an indistinct design, possibly depicting a crude scallop shell or a crown seen from the bottom. The lead is heavily patinated, grey-white in colour and slightly pitted.

Ampullae were an important pilgrim souvenir and were designed to contain a dose of thaumaturgic water which was dispensed to pilgrims from shrines and holy wells. They were provided with a pair of handles so that they could be conveniantly suspended from a cord or chain around the wearer's neck.

Length: 54.14mm, Width: 30.0mm, Thickness: 7.83mm, Weight: 44.61g

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1150
Date to: Circa AD 1350

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 54.14 mm
Width: 30 mm
Thickness: 7.83 mm
Weight: 45.61 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 1st August 2015 - Wednesday 19th August 2015

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mrs Vicky Lemmens
Identified by: Mrs Vicky Lemmens
Secondary identifier: Miss Julie Shoemark

Other reference numbers

Other reference: SCC receipt 17115

Materials and construction

Primary material: Lead
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

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

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From finder
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: SOM
Created: 3 years ago
Updated: 3 years ago

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