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 Museum Explorer

Birds and beasts in Roman Britain

Boar's tusk pendant

Width: 150.000 mm

P&EE 1861.3-7.1

Boar's tusk pendant

From: North Wraxhall, Wiltshire
Date: 1st-4th century AD

This pendant is made from a pair of boar's tusks. Can you see the two animals decorating the middle fastening? A hunting dog has cornered a wild boar. Hunting, both for sport and food, was popular with Romans. Dogs were often used to sniff out and chase animals, including boars, bears and wolves (which could still be found in Britain in those days). After the dog had caught the boar, the hunters would move in for the kill with their long spears.

This pendant was probably worn like a necklace. Its owner may have used it as a charm with the power to protect them from harm.