IOW-817021: Roman: Finger-ring

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:

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Unique ID: IOW-817021

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

An incomplete Roman copper-alloy finger-ring (c. AD 300-402).

The bezel is off-set to one side of the hoop and may have been designed as such. There is a small break on the edge of the bezel.

This finger-ring has a flat, circular bezel which is decorated with a pattern of incised lines within a circular border. The decoration consists of two opposing 'chevrons' which may form an 'X' or a crude cross saltire. In three angles there is a short incised line. The shoulders are moulded, each consisting of three transverse ridges, with the central being the most pronounced. The hoop is 'D'-shaped in cross-section, flat on the inner face.

The finger-ring has a matt dark green patina with off-white deposits. The inside of the hoop, including the underside of the bezel, have linear striations which may be 'file' marks.

Diameter of hoop: 21.3mm, Width of shoulders: 4.2mm; thickness of shoulders: 1.7mm; length of bezel: 9.1mm; width of bezel: 8.8mm; thickness of bezel: 1.1mm. Weight: 2.08g.

A number of extremely similar examples have been found mainly in the West Country (e.g. SOM-AC7F9A, West Crewkerne; SOMDOR-EF0427, Taunton; SOMDOR1570, Dorchester; SOM-655503, Midsomer Norton). The records quote Ralph Jackson (former curator of Romano-British Collections at the British Museum) who suggests that the rings are probably Roman in date. He states: "although it is difficult to be certain, it is just possible that the design is a rather rudimentarily-incised version of the early Christian chi-rho motif - the first two letters of Christ's name in Greek (X and P) superimposed... with a symmetrical arrangement of four 'flecks' in the field."

SOMDOR-EF0427 is a close parallel for the bezel design of this Isle of Wight finger-ring.

Also, refer to this search (accessed 30/8/2018):

Find of note status

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

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Finder
Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Subperiod from: Late
Period from: ROMAN
Subperiod to: Late
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 300
Date to: Circa AD 402

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Width: 9.1 mm
Thickness: 1.7 mm
Weight: 2.08 g
Diameter: 21.3 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 29th August 2018 - Wednesday 29th August 2018

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Frank Basford
Identified by: Mr Frank Basford
Secondary identifier: Ms Laura Burnett

Other reference numbers

Other reference: IOW2018-7-214

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)
District: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Isle of Wight

Spatial coordinates

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

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: Club rally
Current location: Finder
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Operations to a depth greater than 0.25m

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: IOW
Created: 2 months ago
Updated: About one month ago

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