Archaeology Magazine

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Rare Christian Inscription Dates to Late Roman Period

Monday, August 19, 2013

DiscNORFOLK, ENGLAND—Recent discoveries in Norfolk have been declared treasure at a coroner’s inquest because of their historic value. The first is a small silver disc inscribed, “Antonius, may you live in God,” a Christian formula of blessing. “We have practically no other evidence for any Christians in Norfolk,” said Adrian Marsden of the Norwich Castle Museum. The disc dates to between 312 and 410, and is thought to have been set in a signet ring. A Viking silver ingot that was probably used in trade and four Iron Age silver bars were also declared treasure. “The ingot offers some interesting possibilities for metallurgical analysis, to look at how pure they are and what sort of other metals if any might be alloyed with the silver,” added Marsden. His museum hopes to acquire the artifacts.