- Museum number
Copper alloy harness phalera. Overall form and dimensions as 1814,0705.14 - a lightly convex back and shallow saucer-shaped front. The ribbed rim and central stud are visible, but corrosion products obscure the decor of the front face. On the back is a pair of pierced hinge flanges, one broken across the eye, the other distorted, on which a pendant originally pivoted. Above are two flattened strap loops. They converge away from the hinge and do not, therefore, conform to Bishop's typology of suspension modes, though they broadly compare to his types 2a,2d and 2e (Bishop 1988: 94-5, 139, fig. 41). Their slot would have accommodated a strap of maximum 16 x 15.5 mm cross-section.
- Production date
Diameter: 44 millimetres
Weight: 32.50 grammes
- Curator's comments
- Ribchester hoard
Roman Britain, late 1st or early 2nd century AD
From Ribchester, Lancashire
This hoard of military metalwork and other itens was found in 1796 by a clogmaker's son playing behind his father's house in the village of Ribchester. Ribchester was the site of a Roman fort, and the hoard seems to have been placed in storage in a wooden box, probably beneath a barrack block floor, in about AD 120. Until then the fort had been garrisoned by a cavalry regiment, the Ala II Asturum, and the hoard, possibly the belongings of a single soldier, consists mainly of cavalry equimpent.
Most striking is the two-piece vizor helmet, which was worn in cavalry sports events (hippika gymnasia), colourful displays in which both horse and rider were dressed in elaborate clothing and metal fittings.
The perforated bronze domes to the left of the helmet are a pair of horse eye-guards, and below them is a set of highly-decorated horse brass, including (to the right of the helmet) a mount with a bust of Minerva, goddess of war and wisdom. The broken discs in the centre foreground are the remains of military awards, while on the right are three bronze pans and a pottery mixing bowl (mortarium). The other objects include parts of two saddle plates and a boar's tusk amulet (good luck charm).
- On display (G49/dc8)
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number