Harness junction

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from Newstead, Roxburghshire

Postcard of Harness junction.
© National Museums Scotland

Harness junction

This silvered bronze harness junction, sometimes called a phalera, was found during excavations at the site of the Roman fort at Newstead in Roxburghshire. It was used on a horse harness sometime between 80 and 180 AD.

The harness junction was coated with silver or tin to give a shiny appearance. Within the defined central area, there is a six-petalled flower, originally inlaid with niello, and a raised boss.

Excavations at Newstead have revealed much about the layout and daily life in Roman camps in Scotland. Some of the finer harness equipment, such as this one, was probably used in tournaments or ceremonies rather than fighting.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-037-090-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.FRA 536
Date: Between 80 and 100 AD
Material: Bronze; silvered
What: Phalera
Who: Newstead Collection
Where: Scotland, Roxburghshire, Melrose, Newstead
Description: Silvered bronze phalera with pendant, from Newstead
  • Curle, J. A Roman frontier post and its people: the fort of Newstead. Glasgow: MacLehose, 1911, Pl. LXXVII, 11. 
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