Bronze shield boss

Roman Britain, 2nd century AD
Kirkham, Lancashire

This boss is from the centre of an auxiliary shield. It is lightly engraved with a war-like scene showing Mars, the Roman warrior god, surrounded by battle trophies, eagles, winged victories and other human figures. The engraver left no space for the rivets which had to be crudely driven through the decorative scheme. Domed metal shield bosses served the dual role of deflecting weapon blows and allowing the hand-grip to be recessed.

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More information


T.W. Potter and C. Johns, Roman Britain-2 (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)


Diameter: 18.500 cm

Museum number

P&EE Townley Collection



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