Sunday 16 February 2020

Roman Cobras in Norfolk, Buckinghamshire and Essex?

A Roman silver ring found in March 2018 at Upper Winchendon near Aylesbury by a detectorist from Essex. It has just been declared Treasure at Buckinghamshire Coroner's Court (BBC Roman snake ring found in Buckinghamshire declared treasure 16 February 2020). The Essex FLO said how exciting it was. Its got two snake heads "with frills"on it, you see.
Items with the same "distinctive cobra heads with a kind of frill" were part of the Snettisham Jeweller's Hoard, found in Norfolk in 1985. Essex finds officer Sophie Flynn, said it was a "pretty exciting" discovery. [...] The newly-found ring [...] has been bent so experts "can't be 100% sure about its original design", Ms Flynn said. She added that because the Snettisham hoard had pieces in it with these type of snake heads "it's possible it came from that workshop" but, as it was found in a field with "no [archaeological] context", experts could not be certain.
Well, maybe ms Flynn could explain as part of her outreach that if you had the archaeological context, a pit under a rubble layer containing pottery and coins of the 360s for example, she could tell which "workshop"it had come from. Bonkers.
Ms Flynn said it "isn't your everyday ring".[...] She said the silver ring would have "belonged to someone with access to a fair amount of money", whereas less valuable versions would have been made of copper.
Cutting edge archaeological theory there. Snakes of the genus Naja are found only in regions throughout Africa, Southwest Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Not in Norfolk.
Hat tip: Hougenai

Vignette: You can't use Colchester Museum photos for discussing artefact hunting, they'll send you a stroppy letter. So here's Boris Johnson warning you about it, and he's put 20 000 new policemen on the streets, keeping some Brits happy. 

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