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Engraved gem from the Thetford treasure

 

Height: 2.200 cm
Width: 1.700 cm

Treasure Trove

P&EE 1981 2-1 41

Room 49: Roman Britain

    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

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

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    History of an erotic Roman drinking cup, £5.00

    History of an erotic Roman drinking cup, £5.00