Jewellery from the Thetford treasure

Roman Britain, 4th century AD
Thetford, Norfolk

These objects formed part of a remarkable hoard of late-Roman gold jewellery and silver tableware found near Thetford, Norfolk, in 1979.

The jewellery, most of which is in pristine, unused condition, clearly shows the late-Antique taste for elaboration and bright colour which had been evolving since the third century AD. The stylistic links between individual items suggest that most were the products of a single workshop, quite possibly in Britain.

The jewellery includes necklaces and clasps, five pendants, and four bracelets. One necklace has beads of green glass and emerald, and another, probably incomplete, is a series of interlocking gold beads. The pendants include an amulet-case, which contained only sulphur. Two pendants take the shape of a Hercules club, a design often used for earrings. Another two pendants are set with gems, a lion cameo and a chalcedony engraved with a figure of Diana, goddess of the moon and of the hunt.

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More information


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


Museum number

P&EE 1981 2-1 24-40


Treasure Trove


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