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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 December 2007, 11:47 GMT
Roman bronze collection unearthed
Roman bronzes
The vessels may have had religious uses
A rare collection of Roman bronzes have been unearthed at the bottom of a well in the City of London.

Wine buckets, a cauldron, dishes and handled shallow bowls were among the items found during a nine-month dig near Throgmorton Avenue this year.

Archaeologists have hailed the find as the most significant in 30 years of excavations in the Upper Walbrook valley area.

The artefacts will go on display at the Museum of London on Friday.

Experts say the bronzes, found in a wood-lined well, are exceptionally well preserved and offer a rare glimpse into the last days of Londinium, the Roman name for London.

Symbolic closure

They say the bronzes may mark the symbolic closure of the well or could have been left by departing Roman Londoners anticipating a return to the city.

Coins discovered in the well date its construction to AD330 and its closure to about AD380, a time when significant parts of the city had been deserted.

In size and scale they are simply unprecedented
Jenny Hall, Museum of London curator

Most of the items are made of copper alloy but some, a flagon and a dish, are made of lead alloy.

Archaeologists say that while they appear to be household items it is possible the hoard may have been used for religious purposes.

Jenny Hall, curator of Roman London at Museum of London said: "These finds are amazing.

"In size and scale they are simply unprecedented. Nothing like this has ever been found from London before, or anywhere else in Britain.'

The Bronze pans have gone on display


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