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Roman votive plaque

Location Discovered Austria near Vienna
Material  Bronze/ Copper Alloy
Dimensions 7.5cm long x 3.7cm wide
Roman Empire 1st- 4th Century AD

A bronze votive plaque, with ring attachments for other hanging items.  This plaque has a rectangular center section with a engraved border, followed by two triangular end portions, with incised lines at the end.  On the top is a loop attachment allowing the piece to be attached to another object.  Further to the loop at the top, is two loops (one partially broken) as well as a squared center attachment section.  It is believed that these attachment loops would have allowed other items to be attached as part of the offering.

The plaque has what is believed to be a partial (or complete) inscription.  This inscription was made by punched dots, as was the common way of the average person to engrave an item.  Many military and civilian piece alike were engraved in this style, unless the material was softer at which time it could be "scratched" onto the surface.  This item is partially corroded, so it is not clear as to exactly what it was once engraved with.

These plaques were something specifically designed to be submitted in an offering manner to the gods.  These plaques sometimes had clear and professional engravings, or at other times simple scratched messages to the gods.  These were then submitted to rivers or lakes along with other items.  Sometimes these items included shields and swords in relation to military figures, but at other times it could have anything of value. 

These votive plaques are unique and clearly relate to a culture that existed for hundreds of years.

-sketch by M. BISHOP (1)

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(1) Reference to similar items: BISHOP, M.C & COULSTON, J.C.N; Roman Military Equipment "From the Punic wars to the Fall of Rome", page 30-32 2006.

**Note on background. A Fresco from the ancient Roman City of Pompeii. The interior walls of a wealthy Roman's Estate 79AD. Picture taken July 2005.