Bronze knife-handle in the form of a charioteer
Roman Britain, 1st-4th century AD
The charioteer wears a short tunic, a helmet and protective bands (fasciae) around his waist, which were the normal outfit for charioteers. He is clearly not depicted in the middle of a race. Instead, with his hand raised to his head, it is probable that he is shown in victory, acknowledging the applause of the crowd.
Although the remains of a circus have never been found in London, a circus has recently been discovered at nearby Colchester in Essex, and excavated by the Colchester Archaeological Trust. This is the first Roman circus ever discovered on British soil, and shows that chariot racing was familiar to at least some of the people of Roman Britain.
The knife would originally have had an iron blade, which has since corroded away.
E. Köhne and C. Ewigleben (eds.), Gladiators and Caesars: the po (London, The British Museum Press, 2000)