Roman Finds at Goadby Marwood

There have been a large number of Roman artefacts discovered in and around Goadby over the last 100 years. Many of the finds were unearthed during ironstone quarrying activities in the mid-20th Century while others relate to the excavations carried out at the Roman villa overlooking the village. Metal detectorists regularly visit the fields surrounding the village and their activities have resulted in a number of interesting finds. 

The artefacts described below are displayed at Melton Carnegie Museum on Thorpe End in Melton Mowbray.

1 Spoon bowl 43 - 409 AD.jpg

Spoon bowl

c. AD 43 to 409

This everyday object was found by a metal detectorist at the site of the Roman town.

Spoon bowl

3 Spoon bowl 43 - 409 AD.jpg

c. AD 43 to 409

This everyday object was found by a metal detectorist at the site of the Roman town.

2b Spoon 350 - 425 AD.jpg
2a Spoon 350 - 425 AD.jpg

Spoon with inscription

c. AD 350 to 425

Found at nearby Eaton, this spoon has two bird-like creatures where the handle joins the spoon and the bowl is inscribed on its upper surface, down its centre with the name TEGERNEMA […].  This name has Celtic elements which mean ‘king’ or ‘lord’.  Dr Roger Tomlin of Oxford University has examined the spoon and believes that since the lettering is a little irregular and would have been upside-down when the spoon was being used, it was probably inscribed by the owner himself, holding the spoon in his left hand, rather than professionally in a workshop.

4 Coin hoard 200 - 300 AD.jpg

Coin hoard

c. AD 200 to 300

This is a large hoard of 1725 coins that was buried in the lower half of a grey ware jar.  It contains bronze coins issued by the emperors Tetricus I, Claudius II, Gallienus and Victorinus. They are known as ‘radiate’ coins as the emperors wear a spiky crown symbolising the rays of the sun, an association with the cult of Sol Invictus.  The coins are of the denomination antoninianus which were a debased type of coin popularly known not to be worth as much as their face value and therefore a cause of inflation.

6 Gold Medusa pendant 43 - 250 AD.jpg

Gold Medusa pendant

c. AD 42 to 350

Medusa was the snake-haired monster from Greek mythology.  She was beheaded by the hero Perseus who used her head as a weapon. Therefore, her image was often used on charms against the evil eye.

9b Bracelet AD 250 - 409.jpg
9a Bracelet AD 250 - 409.jpg

Bracelets

c. AD 250 to 409

The two more complete bracelets are made from twisted wire and one still retains its delicate hook and eye clasp.  Metal bracelets such as these were fairly high-status items.

9c Bracelet AD 250 - 409.jpg
12 Circular brooch AD 43 - 409.jpg

Circular plate brooch

c. AD 43 to 409

Decorated with enamel.

13 Oval brooch AD 43 - 409_edited.jpg

Oval plate brooch

c. AD 43 to 409

Gilded with a piece of green glass set into the centre.

Mercury figurine

c. AD 43 to 409

Figurine of the god Mercury with winged helmet and boots, winged staff (‘caduceus’), cape and flask.  Mercury was the Roman god of shopkeepers, merchants, travellers, communication, thieves and tricksters.

5 Mercury fugurine 43 - 409 AD.jpg
7 Bird brooch 43 - 200 AD.jpg

Bird-shaped plate brooch

c. AD 43 to 200

With enamel and silver decoration.

8 Votive axe AD 43 - 409.jpg

Miniature axe model

c. AD 43 to 409

These tiny axes are often referred to as ‘votive’ meaning that they were sacred objects, possibly left as a ritual offering for the gods. However, this is debated with some archaeologists believing they were symbols of authority.

10 Circular brooch AD 43 - 409.jpg

Circular plate brooch

c. AD 43 to 409

Decorated with enamel.

11a Chatelaine brooch AD 43 - 409.jpg
11b Chatelaine brooch AD 43 - 409.jpg

Enamelled chatelaine brooch

c. AD 43 to 409

This enamelled copper alloy brooch still has traces of the delicate safety chain on the rear.  Chatelaine brooches were used to suspend toilet or cosmetic implements such as tweezers, nail cleaners and ear scoops. They were probably more symbolic of status and personal hygiene than practical items for use. Unfortunately, they are missing on this example.

14 Bow brooch AD 43 - 409.jpg

Bow brooch

c. 43 to 409

This type of brooch is also known as a dolphin brooch due to its characteristic shape.

15 Headstud brooch AD 43 - 409.jpg

Headstud brooch

c. AD 43 to 409

This distinctive brooch has been tinned or silvered to make it shine.

16 Knee brooch AD 43 - 409.jpg

Knee brooch

c. AD 43 to 409

Brooch.

17 Fantail brooch AD 43 - 150.jpg

Aesica fantail brooch

c. AD 43 to 150

This distinctive brooch has been tinned or silvered to make parts of the design shine. Aesica was the Roman name for a fort at Great Chesters on Hadrian’s Wall where this type of brooch was found.

19 Fantail brooch AD 43 - 150.jpg

Fantail brooch

c. AD 43 to 150

Brooch.

18 Bow brooch AD 43 - 409.jpg

Bow brooch

c. AD 43 to 409

Also known as a dolphin brooch due to its characteristic shape.

20 Military style buckle AD 43 - 409.jpg

Military style buckle

c. AD 43 to 409

Roman copper alloy, military-style belt buckle with integral openwork plate.

21 Finger ring AD 43 - 409.jpg

Finger ring

c. AD 43 to 409

Whatever was once set into the bezel of this ring is now missing.

Signet ring

c. AD 43 to 409

Finger ring.

22 Signet ring AD 43 - 409.jpg
24 Finger ring with key AD 43 - 409.jpg

Finger ring with key

c. AD 43 to 409

This ring has a handy built-in key.

27 Terret AD 43 - 409.jpg

Terret

c. AD 43 to 409

A terret is a metal loop on a horse harness designed to guide the reins. It could also be attached to a chariot for the same purpose.

28a Handle AD 43 - 409_edited.jpg
28b Handle AD 43 - 409.jpg

Handles

c. AD 43 to 409

These handles could have come from pieces of furniture or boxes.

28c Handle AD 43 - 409_edited.jpg
31 Glass vessel AD 43 - 409.jpg

Glass vessel base

c. AD 43 to 409

Glass vessels were popular during the Roman period and were often this blue/green colour.

23 Finger ring AD 43 - 409.jpg

Finger ring

c. AD 43 to 409

Finger ring.

25 Bone hairpin AD 43 - 409.jpg

Bone hairpin

c. AD 43 to 409

Roman women often had elaborate hairstyles that required pins to keep them in place.

26 Nail cleaner AD 43 - 409.jpg

Nail cleaner

c. AD 43 to 409

These may have been part of a toilet set suspended on a loop with a pair of tweezers and earwax scoop.

29b Lead dice AD 43 - 409.jpg

Lead dice

c. AD 43 to 409

Dice games were very popular during the Roman period and often involved gambling. It became a social problem so the government attempted to restrict it.

29a Lead dice AD 43 - 409.jpg
30 Steelyard weights AD 43 - 409.jpg

Lead and iron steelyard weights

c. AD 43 to 409

These weights would have been used with a steelyard – a beam balance with arms of unequal length that incorporates a counterweight which slides along the longer arm to counterbalance the load and indicate its weight. During the Roman period weights were most commonly bi-conical like these examples.

32 Iron spear head AD 43 - 409_edited.jpg

Iron spearhead

c. AD 43 to 409

Spearhead.

33 Iron blade AD 43 - 409.jpg

Iron knife blade

c. AD 43 to 409

This is the classic shape of a Roman knife with a straight back and curved blade.

34 Iron hammer head AD 43 - 409_edited.jpg

Iron hammer head

c. AD 43 to 409

Hammer head.

35 Samian ware sherds AD 43 - 409.jpg

Samian ware pottery sherds

c. AD 43 to 409

Samian ware was used as a fine tableware in a fairly well-off household. It is often decorated with human and animal figures as in this example..

36 Samian ware sherd AD 43 - 409.jpg
37 Samian ware sherd AD 43 - 409.jpg

Samian ware pottery sherds

c. AD 43 to 409

Samian ware was used as a fine tableware in a fairly well-off household. Each of these  vessels was repaired with a piece of bronze during its lifetime.

40 Nene Valley cup base AD 150 - 400.jpg

Nene Valley colour-coated pottery cup 

c. AD 150 to 400

This is a type of fine table-ware which often features painted and applied decoration. It was produced on a huge-scale in the Nene Valley near Peterborough and exported all over Roman Britain.

38 Samian ware sherd AD 43 - 409.jpg

Samian ware pottery base sherd

c. AD 43 to 409

Samian ware was used as a fine tableware in a fairly well-off household. Sometimes they were stamped with the maker’s name as in this example.

39 Mortarium rim AD 200 - 400.jpg

Mortaria pottery rim

c. AD 200 to 400

Mortaria were used for mixing, grinding and pulping food. The Mancetter / Harsthill type were manufactured on a huge scale on the Warwickshire / Leicestershire border. Examples produced in the Nene Valley near Peterborough are also often found in the East Midlands.  

41 Grey ware base AD 43 - 409.jpg

Grey ware pottery base

c. AD 43 to 409

Grey ware pots were for everyday use and were made locally around the country. Grey ware sherds account for around 80% of Roman pottery found at British sites.

42 Shelly Ware rim AD 43 - 300.jpg

Shelly ware pottery rim

c. AD 43 to 300

Shelly ware was an everyday type of pottery, usually used for large vessels.

43 Grey ware rim AD 120 - 250.jpg

Grey ware pottery rim

c. AD 120 to 250

This pottery sherd shows a burnished lattice pattern. Grey ware pots were for everyday use and were made locally around the country. Grey ware sherds account for around 80% of Roman pottery found at British sites.

45 Grey Ware rim AD 43 - 409.jpg

Grey ware pottery rim

c. AD 43 to 409

Grey ware pots were for everyday use and were made locally around the country.  Grey ware sherds account for around 80% of Roman pottery found at British sites.

49 Grey Ware rim AD 120 - 250.jpg

Grey ware pottery rim

c. AD 120 to 250

This pottery sherd shows a burnished lattice pattern. Grey ware pots were for everyday use and were made locally around the country.  Grey ware sherds account for around 80% of Roman pottery found at British sites.

50 Grey Ware rim AD 50 - 120.jpg

Grey ware pottery sherd

c. AD 50 to 120

This pottery sherd shows the remains of ‘rustication’ – raised ridges on the surface. Grey ware pots were for everyday use and were made locally around the country.  Grey ware sherds account for around 80% of Roman pottery found at British sites.

44 orange rim AD 43 - 409.jpg

Orange pottery rim

c. AD 43 to 409

Pottery rim.

46 Shelly Ware rim AD 43 - 300.jpg

Shelley ware pottery rim

c. AD 43 to 300

Shelly ware was an everyday type of pottery, usually used for large vessels.

47 White Ware handle AD 50 - 220.jpg

White ware pottery rim and handle

c. AD 50 to 220

This sherd is from a ring neck flagon.

48 White Ware rim AD 43 - 409.jpg

White ware pottery rim

c. AD 43 to 409

Pottery rim.

51 Grey Ware rim AD 43 - 409.jpg

Grey ware pottery rim

c. AD 43 to 409

Grey ware pots were for everyday use and were made locally around the country.  Grey ware sherds account for around 80% of Roman pottery found at British sites.

Images and descriptions courtesy of Melton Carnegie Museum