ARTEFACT OF THE WEEK: Romano-British Trumpet Brooch

What better way to announce a brand new series of DigVentures’ Artefact of the Week than with… a TRUMPET brooch?

Yes, each week, we’re putting the spotlight on an artefact from the DigVentures archive. First up for 2017 is this lovely little pin.

Archaeologists classify Roman brooches into different types, and trumpet brooches (so-called because they look a bit like a trumpet) are one of the most common.

The unusual thing about this one, however, is where it was found: right at the back of Victoria Cave in Yorkshire. But who would leave such a lovely thing at the back of a dark, damp cave?

Interestingly, it seems that people began placing small objects in the cave not long after the Roman conquest of northern Britain in the AD70s. Many Roman soldiers came from places with strong beliefs about caves, and we now think Victoria Cave may have been the site of a new Romano-British cave cult.

Although the brooch was originally found during excavations in the 1870s, this virtual replica was created when DigVentures gained access to the Tot Lord collection. You can see more artefacts like this in the Victoria Cave Virtual Museum.

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Written by Maiya Pina-Dacier

Head of Community at DigVentures, Maiya digs with a trowel in one hand, and a Twitter feed in the other. She reports on all our discoveries live from the trenches, and keeps our Site Hut full of the latest archaeology news. Got a story? Just drop her a line...

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