Tyne and Wear HER(928): South Shields, River Tyne, Roman shield-boss - Details
South Shields, River Tyne, Roman shield-boss
Armour and Weapons
Bronze rectangular shield centre with circular boss, 312 mm x 235 mm. Probably intended for parade armour rather than serious battle. The bronze has been coated with tin, and decorated by incised and pounced lines. The ground has been formed by scraping off the tin plating. The central boss is decorated with an eagle holding an olive branch and surrounded by a wreath. The border is of 8 panels. In each corner is a figure representing one of the Four Seasons; above is Mars, below a bull, the badge of the 8th Legion. In the margins are 2 legionary standards, and the letters: LEG VIII AVG / * IVL(II) MAGNI IVNI(I) DUBITATI. The shield thus belonged to Junius Dubitatus, who served in the century of Julius Magnus in the Eighth Legion Augustus, in Britain under Hadrian. It is supposed to have been dredged up at, or near, the bar across the Tyne before 1877 with, or close to, HER no. 927. Another source says it was dredged up on the south side of the Tyne at its junction with the sea. This object was bought by Canon Greenwell, and later acquired by the British Museum.
<< HER 928 >> F. Haverfield, 1907, Note on Roman Armour found on Tynemouth Bar, Northumberland County History, VIII, 278-80 J.W. Brailsford, 1964, Guide to the Antiquities of Roman Britain, pp. 67 and 69, fig. 35 L. Allason-Jones & R. Miket, 1984, The Catalogue of Small Finds from South Shields Roman Fort, Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne, Monograph, No.3.724