- Museum number
Copper alloy horse eye guard. Intact except for a small area adjacent to a dent in the side and lower dome. Lightly domes flange with a rudimentarily-cut rim, ornamented with a single grooved line, irregularly applied, between the rim and the circle of six small, roughly-cut fixing holes. A pair of similar lines encircles the band at the base of the dome and the band at its carination. The openwork appears to have been cut from the outside. That of the lower dome has an arcaded appearance, with a row of rectangular piercings surmounted successively by single rows of circular, peltate and triangular piercings. Above the carination the piercings are set on a square grid, carefully adapted to the contours. The unpierced central square retains a lathe centre point. At the carination, where the square grid had to be accommodated to the circular band, the piercings are rhomboid and triangular, and rather irregularly cut. Three of the fixing holes are empty, one is broken, and one is blocked with corrosion. The sixth is obscured by iron corrosion products and a fragment .of copper-alloy strip. These are probably part of the original strap loop fastening, and what appear to be organic remains, perhaps leather, are visible in the iron corrosion on the inside face of the flange. This eye-guard appears to have been fastened to (or used in conjunction with) leather chamfrons of the kind found at Newstead and Vindolanda.
- Production date
Diameter: 148 millimetres
Height: 75 millimetres
Weight: 198.80 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).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2003 26 Apr-24 Aug, USA, Lexington, Kentucky Horse Park, All the Queen’s Horses
1979 Feb-Apr, Munich, Prahistoriche Staatsamlung Museum, Roman Cavalry Helmets
1978-1979 Dec-Feb, Nuremburg, Germanisches National Museum, Roman Cavalry Helmets
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number