HAMP-F86F7D: Late Iron Age/ early Roman harness fitting

Rights Holder: Hampshire Cultural Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Hampshire Cultural Trust
CC License:

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Unique ID: HAMP-F86F7D

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

An incomplete late Iron Age to early Roman cast zoomorphic copper-alloy strap-fitting. A strap-distributor dating to the period 50 BC - AD 50. It is incomplete insofar as at least one of the two conjoined circular loops (D-shaped in cross-section) has broken off. There are worn projections which emerge beneath the horse's head, and it is from here that a possible third circular loop projected, now broken off. The remaining loop is circular, measuring 20.47mm in diameter, with the frame of the loop measuring 3.21mm in thickness.
Inbetween the two (or possibly three) loops projects a horse's bust, projecting 23.11mm from the circular loop, and is 6.94mm wide. The neck is wide and flat, and an isoceles triangle in cross-section. Below the apex (top of the neck) on both sides are six circular punch marks, which presumably represent reins or a bridle fitting. The head is shown semi-naturalistically and is decorated with both moulded and incised detail to bring out the anatomical details. The ears project vertically at the top of the neck, a rectangular extension (flat to the front and convex to the reverse) with a convex line cut in the centre of the top-edge. The head is flat to either side but with rounded mouldings for the brow ridges, nose, lower lip and a curved chin/ cheek line on the lower edge, extending from the bottom of the neck. On one side of the head is an incised pointed oval eye beneath a moulded brow; the same area on the other side is rather worn and no incised decoration is visible. The rounded nose is hemi-spherical in shape (being flat inside the mouth) and the lower lip about half the thickness (though again rather hemi-spherical). The mouth is open.
Seven circular punch marks run longitudinally half the length of the snout, from below the ears, and form a T-shape with further punch marks flanking the base of the ears and a short way down both sides of the head. At this point these extend in a curving line below the eyes to the nose, where they extend across the top of the nose and join. From the ears, the line of circular punch marks also extend upwards around the back of the ears to join those on the neck.
In total, the harness fitting measures 26.71mm in length, 35.04mm wide and weighs 22.68g.
Such harness fittings are thought to date to the late Iron Age, to the late 1st century BC or early 1st century AD. Examples recorded on this database include; LIN-3CFCE8, NARC-565894, HAMP2961, HAMP-7794C4 and in the literature, Bushe-Fox (1926, 47/Plate XV; no. 29) - all of these have a anthropomorphic face instead of the horse's head. One other strap junction with a horse head extension is recorded on the PAS database from South Oxfordshire (LON-C12241), though this horse head is shown far less naturalistically than the Wellingore example.

Find of note status

This has been noted as an interesting find by the recorder.

Class: strap -distributor

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: IRON AGE
Period from: IRON AGE
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa 50 BC
Date to: Circa AD 50

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 26.71 mm
Width: 35.04 mm
Weight: 22.68 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Fiona Johnstone
Identified by: Ms Fiona Johnstone
Secondary identifier: Ms Katie Hinds

Other reference numbers

Other reference: Hampshire Cultural Trust Object Entry Form WINCM 658

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Hampshire (County)
District: Basingstoke and Deane (District)
To be known as: Steventon

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 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: HAMP
Created: 5 months ago
Updated: 5 months ago

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