LATE ROMAN BUCKLES IN BRITAIN 

by Stuart Laycock and Chris Marshall 2005.





Page One
Dolphin Buckles


Page Two
Bird Buckles


Page Three
Crescent Buckles


Page Four
Dragon Buckles


Page Five
Head Buckles


Page Six
Horsehead Buckles


Page Seven
Lionhead Buckles

Page Eight
Plain Loop Buckles


Page Nine
Triangular Plate Buckles

Page Ten
Links








Backgound
The end of Roman Britain and the decades leading up to it, are still a period which raises many unanswered questions, among them: What is happening on the military front? What is the nature of contact between Britain and the rest of the Roman empire in this period? How and when does Roman Britain begin to fragment? Hawkes and Dunning, back in 1961, identified a group of late Roman buckles, belonging to this period, (the late decades of the 4th century and the first decades of the 5th) which may hold part of the answer to these questions. Since their groundbreaking work, many more buckles have been discovered, but there has been comparatively little progress in understanding how the buckles relate to each other and what their significance is. This site is an attempt to rectify that situation, by revisiting the classification of the buckles in the light of new discoveries, and interpreting the evidence this provided. Hawkes and Dunnings classification of the buckles, even though it is over 40 years old, is still used by many in Britain, while on the continent, other classification systems are also used, particularly Sommerís. In order to avoid confusion, we have used a simple descriptive classification, which hopefully will be easily understood by both experts and non-experts, and which should be flexible enough to incorporate any new discoveries. Much of this site is original research, but obviously it owes a big debt to Hawkes and Dunningís original pioneering work.

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Copyright © May 2005, Laycock & Marshall, All Rights Reserved.