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Back-plates for harness junctions

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found at Newstead, Roxburghshire

Back-plates for harness junctions
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These bronze objects were back-plates for Roman harness junctions, also known as phalerae. They were found at the site of the Roman fort at Newstead in Roxburghshire. They were used to fasten the metal harness junctions to the leather straps.

The plates have the remains of rivets, used to attach the back-plates to the phalerae and leather harness. All of the pieces have the name of their owner, DOMITIVS ATTICVUS, scratched on them.

The harnesses of Roman cavalrymen were decorated with a range of mounts and pendants. Some of the finer examples were probably used in tournaments or ceremonies rather than fighting.

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