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Tyne and Wear HER(4675): South Shields Roman Fort, Dacian Brooches - Details

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South Shields Roman Fort, Dacian Brooches

South Shields


Dress and Personal Accessories

Personal Ornament





Two Roman brooches on display in the museum at Arbeia Roman Fort are unusual in belonging to a type rarely found outside Romania. They were found in the 19th century so it is impossible to say whether they were found in the fort or within the vicus. The first brooch is P-shaped and made of copper alloy. It is 53 metres long and 23 metres wide. It is plated with white metal and parts of the brooch are decorated with grooves, giving the impression of wire wrapped around the brooch. This type of brooch dates to end of the 2nd century A.D. or beginning of the 3rd century A.D. The South Shields example may be a later development. The second brooch is also P-shaped of copper alloy, measuring 43 metres in length and 20 metres in width. This too is plated in white metal and has simple decoration with 3 horizontal grooves and cut out strips. It dates to the first half of the 3rd century A.D. when the fort was at the height of its importance as a supply base. It is not clear why Roman brooches of Eastern European type should be found at South Shields. They show slight variations to those found in Dacia, so may have been made by a local craftsman, copying Dacian originals.




<< HER 4675 >> M. Snape, 2001, Roman Brooches of Dacian Type found at South Shields Roman Fort, The Arbeia Journal, Vol 6-7, 1997-98 (2001), p 63-65; M.E. Snape, Roman Brooches, in Arbeia Magazine, pp 13-15

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