SF-177275: Roman miniature stand or votive altar

Rights Holder: Suffolk County Council
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Unique ID: SF-177275

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

An incomplete copper-alloy miniature stand or votive altar of Roman date. Parts of two sides of the object and one corner survive, the remainder now missing due to old breaks. Each of the surviving sides are flat and rectangular in form, set at right angles to one another and with moulded decoration on their exterior faces. On one this comprises two opposing transverse crescents or curved bands separted by a narrow groove, while on the other are the remains of a quatrefoil motif within a sub-circular border. The recessed areas within and surrounding these motifs were presumably for enamel, although only a small possible trace of red enamel within the circular field now survives, the remainder missing due to post-depositional corrosion. At the surviving corner of the object the upper surface is flattened, perhaps with the remains of an inner aperture or openwork area, but its precise form is uncertain due to old breaks. A small single globular knop is present at the top of the complete corner. The entire object measures 16.32mm in height, 19.34mm in length, 14.37mm in width (incomplete), 1.36mm in thickness, and 3.86g in weight.

This is an incomplete miniature object, perhaps a votive altar, of Roman date. It finds close parallels in examples recorded from Suffolk (SF4427, SF4428) as well as published parallels of small enamelled stands from South Shields (Allason-Jones and Miket, 1984: 92-93, nos. 3.1-3.3). These are interpreted as miniature stands or altars that probably stacked on top of one another. They are of Roman date, c.43-410 AD.

Class: Altar

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 43
Date to: Circa AD 409

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 19.34 mm
Height: 16.32 mm
Width: 14.37 mm
Thickness: 1.36 mm
Weight: 3.86 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 1st August 2015

Personal details

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Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Suffolk (County)
District: St. Edmundsbury (District)
To be known as: The Saxhams

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: Generated from computer mapping software
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 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: SF
Created: 6 years ago
Updated: 5 years ago

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