chapter  3
34 Pages


Finger-rings were to all intents and purposes a new type of jewellery in Roman Britain. Once introduced, they rapidly became extremely popular and were manufactured in everything from gold to less expensive materials like bone and jet. Consequently they must have been available to men and women from all levels of society. While most Romano-British rings can be slotted into a known typology that is applicable to the whole of the Roman Empire, no classification is perfect, and there are always some undatable types, local variants and other oddities that defy our attempts at systematic study. Many of these are interesting in themselves, so we shall look not only at the most diagnostic types of each chronological phase, but also pick out several other interesting forms, even if they have little value for dating, or are rare and exceptional. Initially it is useful to know which sources of reference are the most helpful for the identification and study of Roman rings.