Piece of a silver plate

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From Traprain Law, East Lothian

Postcard of Piece of a silver plate.
© National Museums Scotland

Piece of a silver plate

This piece of a silver plate was found at Traprain Law in East Lothian. It was part of a hoard containing over 150 silver objects, mainly tableware, buried between 410 and 425 AD. Most of the objects were fragmentary.

The broken and cracked plate was engraved with a fish, identified as a red mullet. Although the fish is often used as a Christian symbol, the plate could also have been simply a platter for serving fish.

All the silver in the large Traprain Law hoard was treated as scrap, with virtually all of it cut up and bent over. It probably represents payment to ensure the loyalty of a friendly chief, but other theories include payment for warriors or loot.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-039-808-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.GVA 108
Date: Deposited between 410 and 425 AD
Material: Silver; engraved
Dimensions: 6.75" x 4.88"; weight 6.00 oz
What: Plate, fish / portion
Where: Scotland, East Lothian, Traprain Law
Description: Part of an engraved fish plate, from Traprain Law
  • Curle, Alexander O. The treasure of Traprain. A Scottish hoard of Roman silver plate. Glasgow: Maclehose, Jackson and Co., 1923, pp. 72-3. 
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