DENO-46C113: Medieval ampulla

Rights Holder: Derby Museums Trust
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AMPULLA

Unique ID: DENO-46C113

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

An incomplete lead-alloy pilgrim's ampulla, of medieval date AD 1350 - 1550. The body of the hollow ampulla is semi - circular, with short, straight, sides which would have extended up to a neck, now missing. Here the damaged edge shows the construction of the piece by revealing the hollow interior. The obverse is slightly rounded, with a reversed S centrally placed. Other decorative elements are indiscernible. The reverse is flatter and slightly hollow, with its surface covered in a series of fine lines radiating out from the broken edge, to the rounded edge, in imitation of a scallop shell. The scallop shell was the badge of St. James of Compostela and the emblem of pilgramage itself. Length,28.8mm, width 27.4mm, thickness 5.0mm and weight 17.51g. The thickness of the lead walls 0.8mm.

Ampullae were important pilgrim souvenirs known to have been in use from the late 12th century and were designed to contain a dose of thaumaturgic water, which would have been given to pilgrims at holy shrines and wells. The water would be taken as a cure to illness or disability or worn as a talisman. The popularity of ampulla dwindled in the early 14th century, giving way to pilgrim badges, however it is believed that they continued in use to the end of the 15th century. Spencer,B. 1990, page 88, Fig 179.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder

Chronology

Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1350
Date to: Circa AD 1550

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 28.8 mm
Width: 27.4 mm
Thickness: 5 mm
Weight: 17.51 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mrs Catherine Falkner
Identified by: Mrs Catherine Falkner

Other reference numbers

Other reference: Derby E8823

Materials and construction

Primary material: Lead Alloy
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: East Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Nottinghamshire (County)
District: Bassetlaw (District)
Parish or ward: Gamston (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SK7175
Four figure Latitude: 53.26725089
Four figure longitude: -0.93693005
1:25K map: SK7175
1:10K map: SK77NW
Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: DENO
Created: 6 months ago
Updated: 5 months ago

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