Engraved gem from the Thetford treasure

Roman Britain, 4th century AD
Thetford, Norfolk

Venus with Cupid and the armour of Mars

This engraved gem formed part of a remarkable hoard of late-Roman gold jewellery and silver tableware that was found near Thetford, Norfolk, in 1979.

Like the other engraved gems in the hoard, this fine large carnelian must have been removed from an older piece of jewellery. It was originally an elongated oval shape, and has been trimmed down to a rectangular form for re-setting. It depicts Venus with Cupid, both signifying love, and the armour of Mars, the Roman god of war, a standard scene in Roman iconography

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More information


C.M. Johns and T. Potter, The Thetford Treasure: Roman j (London, The British Museum Press, 1983)


Height: 2.200 cm
Width: 1.700 cm

Museum number

P&EE 1981 2-1 41


Treasure Trove


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