Medieval Matrix Seal with Roman Intaglio

By: Anonymous

Last week I finished work early and as the weather was good I decided to head out for an hour or so to get some detecting in before heading home for the day. The field I had in mind had just been cut for silage a few days before and as land is scarce at the moment I decided to give it a go. I’d detected this field a few times before and had moderate success (mostly lead) so wasn’t expecting anything spectacular to come up, how wrong I was. The second signal was a John the Blind of Luxembourg Continental Penny which I was chuffed to bits with, then ten minutes later I had a good signal, I dug the target and five to six inches down I caught my first glimpse of something silver with a red stone in the middle. My heart skipped a beat as I picked the object up and gave it a quick clean. Although I’m still very much a novice detectorist I had a good idea that what I had found was a seal of some kind which was in very good condition.


The rest of my detecting session didn’t produce any finds of note but I was itching to get home and have a proper look at the seal. After I gave it a quick clean I took some photos and posted them on the ID sections of a couple of detecting forums. Within a few minutes I had my first replies; I had found a medieval matrix seal dating from between 1200 - 1350 with a Roman Intaglio (probably Jasper) which dates from late 1st century to early 2nd century. The inscription appears to read S’ ThOME : DE : LOhIN and figure carved into the Jasper appears to be a female draped goddess holding a staff and something else.

I emailed images and a short description to the Treasure Trove office in Edinburgh who said it was “a lovely find and looks in great condition.” I have tried to research the name on the seal and which Roman goddess is depicted in the gemstone without any luck so far. Hopefully once I take it to the Treasure Trove office and hand it in for assessment they will have the resources to research the piece in more detail.

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