Figurine – Roman or Medieval?

The identity and age of most coins and artefacts is usually quite obvious. However, they can be times when finds are very difficult to pin down. Occasionally, even the date can be problematic. The find pictured here, which was found by Jamie New, is an example of a really awkward one.

It is a bronze figure, which is 70mm tall and corroded in places. The hands are missing; they may have broken off or could have been lost through corrosion. Jamie said there are trades of gilding. After looking at the face and body covering I’m still uncertain if it is meant to represent a man or a woman.

The figure could be Roman and date from circa 2nd century AD. However, one source mentions that figures similar to this, made in England and the Low Countries, were gilded and used as decorative elements on altar crosses; most are said to date from the 15th century. So, does this figure date from the Roman period or was it made during the later medieval period?

Plausible ideas on the date of this find would be welcome.

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