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Rare Roman find

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Rare Roman find

Post by pengles »

I've been assisting with an archaeological exploration of a Roman Temple site. and along with excavating pits etc have been tasked with the detecting. I found this item and had no idea about it. The head archy wasn't too sure either, but has now had it looked at and identified. His summary follows. I've removed any reference to locations etc for obvious reasons. To be honest, I had it down as maybe Victorian.

"I’ve identified it as the silver handle for a Roman priest’s ritual ceremonial rattle. The curved end would have had soldered to it a thin-walled circular metal box containing metal balls that would rattle when shaken. This would have been done at key points in the ritual ceremony and would command the attention of the congregation as well as invoke the goodwill of the deities. You can see solder still adhering to the curved end in my photo.

There is a longer handle of a similar rattle from a Roman temple treasure hoard. It is made of copper-alloy. Your example is the only one of silver of which I am aware. They are rare finds."

Pleased as punch about this one.
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