SOM-B5638E: Roman statuette of Jupiter

Rights Holder: Somerset County Council
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Unique ID: SOM-B5638E

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

Roman copper alloy figurine of Jupiter, incomplete and unfinished. The figurine is a standing male figure, missing his lower legs and feet and left hand to old, worn beaks. The facial features are worn but he is bearded with short curly hair which is slightly thickened around the edges of the hair and comes to a thicker fringe at the forehead. The torso is inclined slightly to the left (as viewed) and his left leg is slightly bent at the knee while his right leg is straight, bending out slightly just before the break, possibly due to damage. Any evidence of genitals are covered by iron pan and corrosion. The figure is naked with a long cloak or stole draped over his left arm at the bent elbow.The right arm is also bent forward and out at the elbow and in his right hand is a thunderbolt (fulmen). The bolt has a central constiction definded by incised lines and flanked by rounded conical end caps. The lower end is complete, the upper damaged with an old break.

Extensive casting flashes remain between the arms and body, particularly his left arm, and around the left edge of his head, this seam continues onto his left arm. Other casting seams with flashing run down the side of the head (on his right) continuing down the back of his right arm ending in a projecting bit of casing flash, and down the front of his right arm.

The entire figurine is 92.6mm tall, 53.3mm wide and 19.8mm thick. It weighs 133.10g.

The portrail of Jupiter, naked, with beard, draped arm and thunderbolt is the standard imagery seen in figurines (Durham 2012 section 3.13). This example is unusual in that his left hand is also held out rather than raised to hold a sceptre (Durham ibid) however a very similar example is known from Peebles in Scotland, now at the Tweeddale Museum and Gallery. That Jupiter has a similar appearence and has a similar thunderbolt in the right hand and is pointing with the left. Jupiter is an uncommon but not rare figure in Romano-British figurines, Durham (2012, ibid) lists 22 examples, 3% of her sample of male figures.

The unfinished nature of the statue, with large casing flashes left on, is unusual and might be expected in an unfinished piece made locally, and discarded unfinished or made specifically to be deposited. Such statuettes may be used in temples but also in personal shrines. Durham (2012 section 4.4.1) suggests a clear although not exclusive relationship between Jupiter figurines and Military sites.

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: Potential for inclusion in Britannia

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 410

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 92.6 mm
Width: 53.3 mm
Thickness: 19.8 mm
Weight: 133.1 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Tuesday 1st May 2018 - Sunday 10th June 2018

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 17566

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Somerset (County)
District: West Somerset (District)
To be known as: Brompton Regis CP

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: Generated from computer mapping software
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Other chance find
Discovery circumstances: Found while walking along a track
General landuse: Woodland
Specific landuse: Deciduous native

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SOM
Created: 5 months ago
Updated: 5 months ago

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