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Archaeology Top ten objects

  Shell Mosaic 
Shell Mosaic, c. AD150. Shell Mosaic, c. AD150.

The most important rooms often had mosaic floors, and Verulamium Museum holds one of the finest collections of Romano British mosaics, including this rare semi-circular design dated to c. AD 150.
 
Marble effect wall plaster
Roman Painted Wall Plaster Roman painted wall plaster

Wealthy Roman houses would also have decorated ceilings and walls, plastered, then painted with complex designs. Recovered sections of Verulamium show imitation marble veneers, columns and cornices, giving an impression of wealth and luxury.
  Venus
Roman bronze figurine of the goddess Venus. Roman bronze figurine of the goddess Venus.

The Verulamium Venus is an outstanding example in bronze of a goddess from a household shrine. The figure may represent Venus or Persephone, goddess of the underworld.
 
Coinage of Tasciovanus and moulds
Iron Age gold stater of Tasciovanus, pre-43 AD. Iron Age gold stater of Tasciovanus, pre-43 AD.

Late Iron Age coin pellet mould Late Iron Age coin pellet mould

Celtic tribes before the conquest were ruled by kings and Tasciovanus ruled the local Catuvellani tribe. Judging by the letters VER, VERO and VERL, short for Verlamion, on his coins it appears that Tasciovanus had his capital and royal mint here.
  Lorica Segmentata Body Armour
Lorica Segmentata (Roman legionary's body armour) Lorica Segmentata (Roman legionary's body armour)

Several of these iron plates from a legionary's body armour, lorica segmentata, were found in a pit outside the town.
 
Basilica inscription and clamp
Roman bronze finger-shaped clamp. Roman bronze finger-shaped clamp.

Roman Verulamium was dominated by its Basilica (town hall). Fragments of this dedicatory inscription were found under St. Michael's playground in the 1950s. The large bronze finger-shaped clamp may have held the end of the inscription.
  Folly Lane Mail Armour
Folded iron mail armour from Folly Lane burial, c. AD 55. Folded iron mail armour from Folly Lane burial, c. AD 55.

In 1992 the burial of a local king was discovered along with many expensive personal possessions. These included the remains of enamelled horse equipment, a chariot and iron mail armour. All these had been placed on a funeral pyre, the culmination of an elaborate funeral ritual.
 
'Postumus'
Cast representaiton of the  head of  'Posthumus'. Cast representaiton of the head of 'Posthumus'.

In 1989 a fine lead coffin decorated with scallop shells, symbols of re-birth, was discovered. Inside lay the well preserved skeleton of a man. His skull was used to make the reconstruction of this face and a video presentation at the museums tells you his story.
  Kingsbury Jug
The Kingsbury Jug, Roman glass jug. The Kingsbury Jug, Roman glass jug.

A fine glass jug was found inside a stone coffin at Kingsbury just outside the Roman walls in 1813. The jug and coffin are the earliest collected items in the Museum.
 
Bone hairpin
Roman Bone Hairpins Roman Bone Hairpins

Under Roman rule the Celtic love of display found expression in jewellery. This is a bone hairpin showing a female head with an elaborate hair style that was the height of fashion about AD100.

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