A bronze Lorica Segmentata shoulder hinge for the Corbridge(earliest) style of segmented plate armor. The standard armor for the Roman Legionary during Rome's prime.
All the rivets are still in place with the scribed concentric rings surrounding them, from when the hinge was hammered to the armor.
The reverse side of the hinge still shows remnants of the iron armor plate around the rivets and the center hinge is largely still intact.
This type of armor had many advantages over scale mail and chain mail, primarily being that it could withstand much harder impacts from pointed weapons while still allowing a good amount of flexibility. The only inherent weakness, at least on these earlier versions was that all the buckles and hinges could easily break and required constant repair. Furthermore the leather straps trapped in moisture on the iron, making it harder to keep corrosion free. This early version was also relatively hard to put on and invariably required a second person to do the buckles up. It was not until the Newstead type that the buckles, hinges and laces were largely done away with. (1)(2)(3)
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(1) References to similar items: FEUGERE, Michel; Weapons of the Romans, page 103 2002.
(2) References to similar items: CONNOLLY, Peter; The Legionary, page 24 2000.
(3) References to similar items: CONNOLLY, Peter; Greece and Rome at War, page 229-230 1998.
*Image of Segmentata by P.CONNOLLY
**Note on background. Close up view of the wall of the Colosseum of Pula, Croatia. Picture taken 2014