This unusual item was donated to the Museum in 2016 by a very kind local metal detector. Unsure what this was, we wondered if it could be a pendant. However, being only 30mm in height but 29g in weight, it seemed to be a rather heavy item to have round your head or as a decorative item on your person.
It has since been identified by the Portable Antiquities Scheme to be a Roman steelyard weight. This is the first of this kind in the Museum’s collections but it seems that the Roman’s were very keen on weights like this that had either Roman deities or their attendants represented on them.
The weight is largely of lead, but has a copper alloy casting around the outside.
So who is this helmet wearing figure? We would love to hear your thoughts.
It is suspected that it may be Minerva – the goddess of wisdom and craft.