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The Roman Army

Seal Box, Carzield

Roman Period

From the collection of Sir Ian Richmond, this seal box was discovered during excavations at Carzield Roman Fort in 1939.  This is an example of an officer's seal box from Carzield, small in size, made in bronze, and enamelled in red. The seal would have been used for stamping documents.


A simple cast loop joins the lid and body, and the box has a prominent roundel with a raised circle within it. The circle is coated with red enamel, located in the centre of the lid. There is a pin hole at one corner of the base. 


Roman decorative pieces 


Copper alloy objects were often tinned or silvered. Tinning simply requires the object to be dipped in molten tin, while silvering was achieved by beating out silver foil and attaching it to the object with lead/tin solder.


Tinning was used for helmets, scabbard and belt fittings, cavalry harness and even armour. Silvering was used on cavalry equipment. Dagger sheaths were sometimes decorated with silver, brass or gold inlays. From the second century AD onwards enamel inlay became popular.


Each side 1.7cm, Depth 18cm.
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
Digital Number:
RCAHMS site record:
Carzield Roman Fort
BIRLEY, Eric ; RICHMOND, I A "The Roman Fort at Carzield". TDGNHAS. Third series. Volume 22, 1942, pp 156 = 163.

BIRLEY, Eric ; GILLAM, J P "The Pottery from the Roman Fort at Carzield". TDGNHAS. Third series. Volume 24, 1947, pp 68 = 78.

TRUCKELL, A E "Excavation Notes" TDGNHAS. Third series. Volume 27, 1950, pp 202 = 204. "Exhibits" TDGNHAS. Third series. Volume 28, 1951, pp 227 = 228.

GILLAM, J P "Dating Second Century Pottery in Northern Britain". TDGNHAS. Third series. Volume 28, 1951, pp 190 = 198.

HENIG, Martin "Three Roman Intaglios From South-Western Scotland". TDGNHAS. Third series. Volume 46, 1969. pp 100 = 109.

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