Caerleon Legionary Fortress
Priory Field Excavations 2010: Finds Gallery (Part I)
The finds were photographed by Mary Lutescu and the descriptions written by the Finds Supervisor, Chris Waite.
A furniture fitting in the shape of a very pretty dolphin
An unusual bronze belt plate, which might have been part of the buckle fitting. This one is unusual in that it has a raised surround to the pierced work. It probably dates from the mid 2nd to the 3rd century
This bronze cap probably covered the pommel of a legionary’s pugio or dagger. Legionaries seem to have been quite the dandy
A possibly unique example of a homemade amulet in lead. It has a hole for possibly threading a thong through. Probably depicts part of a person’s anatomy (the students and I thought it was a part of a male anatomy but the more cerebral amongst us wouldn’t believe me)
Small bronze bust of Minerva, probably a furniture fitting. She is beautifully modelled wearing a Corinthian helmet. Similar busts have been found in other parts of Caerleon
A small, mid-2nd to 3rd century, bronze chape from a dagger. This is the piece at the end of the sheath that stops the point poking through (into your leg)
This is a melon-shaped bead in blue paste glass or faience. These are often found on Roman military sites and so it may be that legionaries wore strings of these
Silver strap-end. This was a decorative end-piece from a leather belt and another showy item. A similar one made of bronze and then silvered was also found in Caerleon. Was this a Roman example of trying to keep up with the Joneses?
Roman scale armour or lorica squamata. The holes at the top of each scale (the flat side opposite the scooped edge) are for attaching to a backing of some kind, possibly either linen or leather, and the holes on the side are for attaching to each other. Interestingly, you can date scale armour from the position of the holes
A whetstone, which is a piece of fine-grained stone used for sharpening knives. These haven’t changed in 2000 years
An iron ring with a carnelian or red jasper intaglio. The figure depicted is probably Bonus Eventus who was a patron of good fortune. It seems likely that every legionary wore a signet ring
Another view of the ring, also showing a stone found wedged inside it
More finds can be seen in Part II of the Gallery
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