Copper alloy and enamel bow brooch
Roman, probably late 1st to early 2nd century
Excavated at Victoria Road, Winchester by Winchester Museums Service Archaeology Section in the mid- to late 1970s
The design of the brooch is dominated by a large crescent moon motif with seven enamelled circles. Although it did not come from a grave in the Roman cemetery found at Victoria Road, it is quite likely that it was originally used as a grave offering and had been disturbed and removed at a later date.
The circle motifs on the crescent could represent the seven days (as seven suns) in a quarter of a lunar cycle. Seven was also the number of planetary births and rebirths which, in some oriental mystery religions, the soul had to undergo before achieving immortality. The brooch may thus have been buried with a dead person as an amulet.