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Roman key

Mike Ruczynski said this find turned up a long time back but he thought that viewers of this website might like to see it. The find is a Roman key, examples of which are not particularly uncommon as detecting finds.

The elaborate handle is made of copper-alloy but the lower section, which would operate a lock mechanism, is iron. The overall length is 85mm.

Whilst many people would be quite poor in Roman Britain, a reasonably large number were quite well off and had possessions that needed to be locked up to stop them being stolen. Therefore, a wide range of locks were available, ranging from large ones for doors to small ones for caskets. When most Romans left Britain in AD 410 it would be many years before locks and keys became widely used again.


The handle of Mike’s find is in very good condition but the iron part looks to be encrusted in rust.  Pricewise, I’d say £70 to £90.

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