LANCUM-F78374: Roman P-shaped brooch

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Unique ID: LANCUM-F78374

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

A nearly complete copper alloy Roman brooch of P-shaped type, dating from c. AD150-250. Only the bow, body and foot of the brooch survive. The separately made iron axis bar, spring coil and pin are missing and only some fragments of the spring survive, concreted around the back of the bow. The iron axis bar would have been held in place by the flattened head of the bow being folded around the axis bar and flat against the back face of the bow - that part of the bow (with the perforation for the axis bar) still survives. The rounded terminal end of the head is visible projecting from the back of the bow. The bow itself is copper-alloy and has a curved upper bow and elongated lower bow and foot giving it a P-shaped profile. The body of the brooch appears to have been made from one single rod of bronze, with the bow flattened and decorated and the foot tapering to a point and folded back onto itself and its terminal tip wrapped around the angle of the bow. It is decorated with lines of small dots and a hatched pattern between the dotted lines. It has a rounded front face and concave back face, tapering towards the foot. The foot itself is curved backwards to form a U-shaped catchplate that holds in place the pin. At its end the catchplate extends to form a single thread of copper-alloy wire that would have been coiled around the centre of the brooch, approximately where the curved upper bow and elongated foot meet. The copper-alloy areas of the brooch have a dark green patina and rough surface and are reasonably well preserved.

This is an unusual Roman brooch of P-shaped type. It is not of British manufacture, but rather has a European origin in the Pontic and Balkan regions, with brooches of this type noted by Hattatt as extending firstly from eastern Europe and southern Russia through to northern Germany and Scandinavia (e.g. Hattatt nos. 487, 1243, 1245, 1247). More decorative examples have been noted in British contexts, notably from Ardleigh in Essex (H.Major in N.Brown, The Archaeology of Arrdleigh, Essex, EAA 90, 1999: pp. 67-69) and through the PAS from Suffolk (SF-CEE4E5, SF-F96AF4; see also WILT-DACB90), but this is typically a continental type that Hattatt describes as 'Gothic' with precursors in La Tene II brooches and ultimately as progenitor of Anglo-Saxon long brooches. It is likely to date to the 2nd or 3rd centuries AD.

Similar brooches were recorded as SF-06BE61 and LANCUM-4168F8.

Class: P-shaped

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 150
Date to: Circa AD 250

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 48 mm
Height: 24 mm
Width: 8 mm
Thickness: 1 mm
Weight: 4.94 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Friday 1st July 2016

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Dot Boughton
Identified by: Dr Dot Boughton

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: North West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Cumbria (County)
District: South Lakeland (District)
To be known as: Kirkby Lonsdale

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Minimal cultivation

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: LANCUM
Created: 3 years ago
Updated: 2 years ago

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