SOM-385E3A: Copper-alloy enamelled seal box

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:

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Unique ID: SOM-385E3A

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

Roman copper-alloy enamelled seal box complete with lid and base, now separate, dating to the second to third century AD.

The lid is complete and formed of a flat plate, teardrop (piriform, leaf shaped) in shape with a rounded end towards the hinge narrowing down to a point at the terminal. The hinge element is an integral oval lug with a small circular piercing through it, surrounded by iron corrosion. The lug is placed transversely to the main plate, extending from the centre of the rounded end and level with the front but projecting at the back. The front of the lid is decorated wth a raised border which joins to a curved line towards the terminal end giving the shape of a circle with a triangle attached. Within the circle is a recessed cell containing two concentric raised circles, level with the border. The cells now contain only traces of enamel of unclear colour, possibly green or white or yellow stained green by corrosion or the treament wax applied by the finder. Beyond the circles is a further recessed tiangular cell filling the entire terminal end. From the pointed terminal extends a small circular knop of the same thickness as the main plate. This is bent down and to the side slightly but has a recessed circle on the fornt, probably also for enamel and a small integral pellet on the back which fitted into a divot on the base. The lid is 35.5mm long, 26.5mm excluding the lug and knop, 18.5mm wide, 1.7mm thick in the cente and 5.5mm including the lug; it weighs 3.86g.

The base echos the shape of the lid with angled sides leading to a piriform base. The sides are interupted by round based slots to hold strings to each side. At the point extends a knop hemi-spherical, with a circular flat top with a small divot to fit with the pellet on the lid. On the base are three slightly irregular holes, two are broadly circular and arranged near the hinge, the third near the point appears to be a mis-cast circle or one that has suffered unusual wear at one point only. The integral hinge is formed of a deep indent into the side which turns out at either side of the slot and slightly at the base. To each side of the slot extends D-shaped flat lugs each with a circular hole now filled with iron corrosion. It is clear the pin linking base and top was iron and rusted away. The base is 35.4mm long, 27.5mm excluding the hinge and knop 17.6mm wide and 6.0mm thick. It weighs 2.94 grams.

The seal box is a variation of Andrews Type P2, being piriform in shape with a central circle surrounded by a ring-shaped cell. (Andrews 2012, 12). DUR-545321 from North Yorkshire, BM-DFAA95 from Piercebridge and LEIC-D6C7C0 from Leicestershire are all similar, althoguh the latter two with a central rivet.

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: County / local importance

Class: Andrews Type P2

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 100
Date to: Circa AD 275

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 35.5 mm
Width: 18.5 mm
Thickness: 7.8 mm
Weight: 6.79 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Laura Burnett
Identified by: Ms Laura Burnett

Other reference numbers

Other reference: SCC receipt 19829

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Secondary material: Iron
Completeness: Complete
Surface Treatment: Inlaid with enamel

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Alvediston CP

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

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SOM
Created: 9 months ago
Updated: 9 months ago

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