Amphora and Spearhead Bars (again)

One of the worrying things about RRC [12/2] is that the amphora doesn’t look much like any ancient amphora and the spearhead (esp. the notches on two of the specimens).  So today as I look at images on an old blog post, I realized how damn similar the two sides were in design.

Let me try to show you what I see in a series of photo shopped images of the BM specimen:




There is a weird logic of near visual parallels on these bars:





shield inside/outside

This design is playing the same visual game.  It makes sense within the general design motifs of early Roman coins, e.g. the Apollo l./Apollo r. series.

I also think it probably made carving molds easier.  You impress the basic outline and then just carve in the details to make it look a little sharper.

Related Posts:

On Amphora symbolism

On spearheads

Iron oxide inclusions in copper



Scott, David A., and Roland Schwab. 2019. Metallography in archaeology and art. Cham: Springer.  p. 95-96.

Hauptmann, Andreas, Robert Maddin, and Michael Prange. “On the Structure and Composition of Copper and Tin Ingots Excavated from the Shipwreck of Uluburun.” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, no. 328 (2002): 1-30. Accessed January 6, 2020. doi:10.2307/1357777.


ALSO, Craddock and Meeks 1987 is not the same as Burnett Craddock and Meeks 1986 as I’d first assumed.





Warrior on the struck Ariminum Bronze

I want to see a really NICE Ariminum struck bronze.  I have questions.

That warrior is he supposed to be a Colonist or a Gaul?  Are there any ethnically identifying details.  Is that a torque I see around the neck on a could of these specimens below?  Does he have shaggy wild hair and a bit of a mullet? Maybe I’m just not convinced yet.


Really I’m just interested in how ‘Gallic’ the shield shape is to a Roman viewer and most of my evidence is much later.

The c. 120 BCE representations are v rectangular :


But the Caesarean era ones are pointy ish:

Capture2 (2).jpgCapture1.JPG

And all of this is to make up my mind if the quincunx of Ariminum is meant to have as its type specifically a ‘Gallic’ Shield? Or just… a shield?  Is it marked or unmarked?

Molinari suggested to me that it was likely meant to be Gallic and now I’m thinking.  And, as so often, I’m leaning to thinking she’s correct.

Gorini 2010 does not make ethnic claims.  His relevant descriptions

“Scudo ovale”

“Guerriero andante a sinistra con scudo ovale, lancia e spada; all’esergo ARIMN”

Cf.  for obverse of cast bronze:

“Testa maschile con bafi e torques di una divinità locale, forse Arimnus”

All posts discussing Ariminum


Silanus (a good common moneyer cognomen?)

Or Silius as a nomen?

Or… well,  there are just too many options to be really satisfied with any one answer.

Nice republican style portrait though!


Getty 85.AN.444