Diameter: 16.000 cm
Height: 8.000 cm
Gift of Thomas Gray
Room 50: Britain and Europe
Iron Age or Roman, AD 50-250
From Lochar Moss, Dumfriesshire, Scotland
Found in a peat bog with a torc inside it
This bowl was found in a peat bog near Cumlangan Castle in south-western Scotland in the 1840s. Inside the bowl was a beaded torc, dismantled into several pieces so that it would fit inside.
The bowl was made from a single sheet of bronze beaten to shape with a soft hammer. The symmetrical shape of the bowl suggests it was made using a lathe or a mould. When the bowl had been shaped the rim was folded over to give it more strength.
The bowl is small and similar in size to many Iron Age pots; it was perhaps used for eating or drinking on a regular basis. However, like many Iron Age objects found in bogs, the bowl was deliberately placed in this wet place, along with the torc, as a religious offering.
The bowl might have been made during the Iron Age, or by people living in this part of Scotland in Roman times. Despite being conquered by the Roman Army for a short time, people in southern Scotland continued to live in traditional Iron Age ways.
M. MacGregor, Early Celtic Art in North Brit (Leicester University Press, 1976)
S. James and V. Rigby, Britain and the Celtic Iron Ag (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)