This work presents the first major analysis of brooches from Roman sites in Britain since the pioneering work of M R Hull in the 1950s and 1960s and is the first to study the material using metallurgical analysis in addition to traditional typological methods. Starting with the 445 brooches recovered from Richborough, in Kent, excavated in 1922-38, the authors discovered that, contrary to the general assumption that all ancient copper alloy objects were made of bronze, a range of alloys was employed. Having found significant correlations between brooch type, decoration and alloy properties, they extended their study to include 3,000 additional brooches from other sites in the British Isles - some as yet unpublished. The results presented here amount to an outline of all the main brooch types found in Roman Britain, providing an essential reference corpus combining traditional typological methods of study with the technological evidence, and showing their distribution within Britain via a series of maps. The accompanying CD contains the results of the scientific analyses of the Richborough brooches and selected comparative material, presented in a format that allows readers to browse the data using their own search criteria. The book concludes with a discussion of the use of metallurgical analysis for identifying the geographical location of individual workshops and of the implications for our understanding of the metalworking industry as well as trade and society in Roman Britain.
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