Copper-Alloy Finger Ring

A1 Leeming to Barton

Category

Category: 
Finds

Author

Charlotte Britton

This complete copper-alloy finger-ring was recovered from the Fort Bridge area of the A1L2B excavations. Dating to the 3rd century AD, the ring has a D-shaped cross-section and has a flat rectangular bezel. Within the bezel is a rectangular panel, which houses a two-line incised inscription that looks to read:

 

V F

    ·

 E

    ·

V L

    ·

T X

 

This inscription is a possible attempt to display the phrase utere/uti felix or ‘Use (this and be) happy’, a phrase that is often associated with small personal objects dating to the Roman period. Although similar inscriptions are often found on such rings, it is unusual to have it displayed vertically instead of horizontally; as it should be read downwards, column by column, rather from side to side.

The ring has wide sloping shoulders and at its widest point has a diameter of 20mm, suggesting it may have been worn by a woman.

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