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found at Newstead, Roxburghshire

Postcard of Amulet.
© National Museums Scotland


This antler amulet was found at the site of the Roman fort at Newstead in Roxburghshire. It dates from between 80 and 180 AD.

The amulet is a circular disc, cut from the base of a red deer antler. A phallic representation has been carved in relief in the centre. The antler's natural imperfections form a frilled border.

The Romans were superstitious, and used amulets and pictures of the gods to ward off evil. Phallic representations are found on a large number of Roman objects. They were thought to produce good luck and protect against the evil spirits.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-037-349-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 1172
Date: Between 80 and 180 AD
Material: Deerhorn; with a phallic emblem carved in relief
Who: Newstead Collection
Where: Scotland, Roxburghshire, Melrose, Newstead
Description: Amulet with phallic emblem carved on a circular disc cut from the base of a red deer antler, from Newstead
  • Clarke, D.V., Breeze, D.J., and Mackay, G. The Romans in Scotland. An introduction to the collections of the National Museums of Antiquities of Scotland. Edinburgh: National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, 1980, p 75. 
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