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The Gloucester Hoard of Roman Bronze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Penny Coombe, Martin Henig, Kurt Adams, Brian Gilmour, John Pearce

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-264
Number of pages40
Published1 Nov 2020

King's Authors


A cache of Roman copper-alloy fragments was discovered, apparently carefully layered in a pit, in a field in Gloucestershire by metal-detectorists in 2017. The assemblage comprises over 5 kg of metal pieces, predominantly box fittings, but also smaller items of personal use such as a fourth-century belt buckle, a three-strand bracelet, a spoon and a coin (a nummus of Crispus). Most remarkable are the sculptural fragments, including several pieces of life-size statuary and the complete statuette of a dog with fine incised decoration, and part of an incised bronze inscription panel. This article considers the original form of the statuary and the use and deposition of the cache. It is proposed that these fragments represent the remains of the accoutrements of a temple or shrine in the local area, perhaps dedicated to Diana Venatrix, and that they were removed and deposited together in the late fourth century. Supplementary material is available online ( and comprises additional figures.

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