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 LATE ROMAN BUCKLES IN BRITAIN 
 9. - TRIANGULAR PLATE 


by Stuart Laycock and Chris Marshall 2005


Triangular Plate
The basic triangular plate buckle comes in a number of variations. This basic type is found widely along the Imperial borders on the continent and shows a high degree of uniformity. The main variations are:- (i) separate loop or fixed plate (1, 2) (ii) open triangle or filled triangle (3, 4)

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tri01.jpg tri02.jpg tri03.jpg tri04.jpg
LM 9.1 LM 9.2 LM 9.3 LM 9.4

A number of examples (10-14) of the basic type have been found across Britain.

Triangular Plate and Kidney loop
A comparatively rare variation of the basic type features a kidney shaped loop instead of a rounded loop (5, 6, 7). Kidney shaped loops on buckles are not uncommon on the continent, but do seem more rare on triangular plate buckles (7). 6 has intricate decoration on its triangular frame, a rare feature which (see 12, 13) sometimes occurs on British triangular plate buckles.

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tri05.jpg tri06.jpg tri07.jpg
LM 9.5 LM 9.6 LM 9.7

Triangular Plate and dolphins
A rare variation of the basic type, which only seems to occur in Britain, is the Triangular Plate with dolphins only two versions of this are so far known (8, 9).

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tri08.jpg tri09.jpg
LM 9.8 LM 9.9

Triangular Plate Transitional
It has been argued that the latest triangular buckles in Britain could be the precursors of the Anglo-Saxon triangular buckles.

This is possible, and certainly some buckles with their flatter loops (10, 11) do begin to look a little more like Anglo-Saxon types, and the Enfield buckle (12) does look quite like a 'missing link' between Roman British and Anglo-Saxon triangular types. In the absence of other Enfield type buckles, however, it is hard to be sure, and it is equally possible that the transition to the later Germanic buckles occurs on the continent and is then imported into England via the well-developed contacts between the Franks and Kent. For another (probably continental) 'missing link' (see 14).

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tri10.jpg tri11.jpg tri12.jpg tri13.jpg tri14.jpg
LM 9.10 LM 9.11 LM 9.12 LM 9.13 LM 9.14


NOTES
9.1 Width not known, found not known, redrawn after eBay; 9.2 Width 30mm, found Wetheringsett cum Brockford, Suffolk, redrawn after PAS - SF8281; 9.3 Width 27mm, found probably Bulgaria, private collection; 9.4 Width not known, found Sparsholt, collection of Brian Cavill; 9.5 Width 31mm, found Stratton sub Castle, Wilts., formerly collection of Brian Cavill; 9.6 Width not known, found Sible Hedingham, Essex, private collection; 9.7 Width 36mm, found Furfooz, redrawn after Sommer; 9.8 Width 31mm, found Barrington, Cambs., collection of Stuart Laycock; 9.9 Width 30mm, found Winchester, Hants., collection of Brian Cavill; 9.10 Width 34mm, found Cublington, Bucks, private collection; 9.11 Width not known, found near Chinnor, Oxon., private collection; 9.12 Width not known, found Enfield, Gt. London, redrawn after Lincoln Road, Enfield; 9.13 Width not known, found Cirencester, Gloucs., redrawn after Brown; 9.14 Width 32mm, found not known, private collection.

REFERENCES
Brown D. - Archaeological Evidence for the Anglo-Saxon Period - in A. Mc Whirr (ed.) Archaeology and History of Cirencester. BAR, Brit. Series 30 (1976)
Lincoln Road, Enfield - Transactions London and Middlesex Archaeological Society 28/29 (1977/78)
Sommer M. - Die Gürtel und Gürtelbeschläge des 4. und 5. Jahrhunderts im Römischen Reich. (1984)

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