A long chain mail tunic

Contributed by Verulamium Museum

A long chain mail tunic probably from a rider, with silver droplets adhering from objects burnt on a pyre close by

A long mail coat made of fine iron rings. It was possibly used by an officer in the Roman cavalry, and weighing 10.2kg.This chain mail tunic was placed onto a cremation pyre and burnt along with other objects, such as a couch and bridle bit. The cremation, dating to around 50/55 AD, was that of an important individual, possibly a member of the Catuvellauni royal family. The tunic may be evidence from their service in the Roman cavalry as an officer and such a tunic may be the closest thing to the burial of war-gear by a civilian that the Roman authorities allowed. The burial is traditionally Iron Age in form, for a member of the ruling elite, and, as it was allowed by the Roman authorities it suggests close co-operation. Later, the authorities even allowed additional veneration of this individual when a temple was built next to the burial. The burial took place in a small pit above a much larger one that contained a mortuary house where burial rites would have taken place prior to cremation. Both house and burial were sealed by a mound of turfs.

Comments are closed for this object

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline

Location

St Albans

Culture
Period
Theme
Size
H:
33cm
W:
24.7cm
D:
14.5cm
Colour
Material

View more objects from people in Beds Herts Bucks.

Find out more

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.