SOM-340375: Roman nail-cleaner strap-end

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Unique ID: SOM-340375

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

An incomplete copper alloy nail-cleaner strap-end of Late Roman date. The strap end consists of two narrow amphora-shaped sheets of copper alloy held together by a rivet on the top. One sheet is almost complete, the other one is broken just below the crescentic lugs. The sheets measure c. 0.9 mm in thickness and are rectangular in cross section with flat front and back.

The attachment end of the object is trapezoidal in shape and narrows in width from 11.3mm at the top to 7.7 mm at the base. A circular rivet survives and holds the two sheets together. At the base of the neck there is a crescent-shaped lug on each side. Below the crescentic lugs the body is elongated and leaf shaped, expanding in width to a maximum of 12.5 mm and then gradually narrowing to the terminal. The terminal ends with bifid tips, one of which is now broken. The outer surface of the surviving sheet has a longitudinal groove running from the centre of the body to the bifid tips. The inner surface is undecorated with traces of soldering on the body. The object has a dark green patina and is slightly bent at the crescentic lugs.

The object measures 60.8 mm in length, 12.5 mm in width, 2.5 mm in thickness and weighs 3.84 g.

Eckhardt and Crummy (2006: 83) discuss nail-cleaner strap-ends, a category of artefact whose function as strap end or cleaner or both is not clear yet. Nail-cleaner strap-ends with crescent-shaped lugs are the largest group of such objects (Eckhardt and Crummy 2006, Table 1). Examples from dated contexts come from Milton Keynes (3th-4th centuty), Baldock (4th century) and Richborough (late phases) (ibid).

Appels and Laycock (2007: 258-261) show different examples of narrow amphora strap end with bifurcation but without mentioning their function as nail-cleaner.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 250
Date to: Circa AD 410

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 60.8 mm
Width: 12.5 mm
Thickness: 2.5 mm
Weight: 3.84 g

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Other reference: SCC Receipt no. 17635

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Somerset (County)
District: Sedgemoor (District)
To be known as: Ashcott 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: Grassland, Heathland
Specific landuse: Disturbed

References cited

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
Appels, A. and Laycock, S. 2007 Roman Buckles and Military Fittings Witham Greenlight Publishing 258-261
Eckardt, H. and Crummy, N. 2006 Roman or native bodies in Britain: The evidence of late Roman nail-cleaner strap-ends Oxford Blackwell Publishing

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SOM
Created: 3 years ago
Updated: 3 years ago

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