Saturday, March 27, 2010
Roman Britain, buried in the 5th century AD
Found at Hoxne, Suffolk (1992)
A very rare type of jewellery
This body-chain is a type of ornament which had a long history and can be seen in representations in both Hellenistic and Roman art, but actual examples are extremely rare. The chains passed over the shoulders and under the arms of the wearer, with a decorative focus where they join on the chest and the back. This example is very small indeed, and could only have been worn by an unusually slender, perhaps very young, woman. The two plaques where the chains join comprise a gold coin of Emperor Gratian (reigned AD 367-383) in a decorative mount, and an oval setting for nine gems, a central amethyst, four garnets, and four empty round settings which probably contained pearls, now completely decayed.