A new stone carving has been discovered at Arbeia Roman fort, at South Shields at the eastern end of Hadrian’s Wall.
The small but well-carved head is broken at the neck, suggesting it came from a statuette depicting a full figure. Above the benignly smiling face sits a mural crown - representing the towers of a city or fortress.
The mural crown marks the deity out as a Tyche - the protective personification of a place. In this instance, it is believed that the deity represents Brigantia, the personified protective goddess of the Romano-British tribe of the same name, whose lands covered large swathes of northern England.
The head came from a part of the fort changed when it was expanded in the early 3rd Century, suggesting that the shrine site might have been redundant by that time. In 1895 an altar dedicated to Brigantia was also found at the fort.
A copper alloy figurine of a female figure, veiled as if ready to perform a sacrifice and holding a patera. The figure might represent a priestess.
Found at Arbeia Roman fort and in the collections of the Great North Museum
Hydria with scene from a story of Dionysus (Bacchus). While travelling to Greece by sea, pirates overtook Dionysus’ ship. They repeatedly tied him up but the ropes wouldn’t fasten. Dionysus then began to cover the ship with vines. In their desperation to escape the pirates leaped into the sea, turning into dolphins as they did so.
On this hydria, Dionysus is represented by the vines on the left of the scene.
Archaeologists from the University of Münster excavating the ancient sanctuary of Jupiter Dolichenus near the town of Dülük in southern Turkey have unearthed more than 600 stamp and cylinder seals dating from between the 7th and the 4th centuries B.C.