pin head?

Description
Copper alloy terminal in the form of a recumbant animal, probably a large cat. Shank broken. Underside of the animal is hollow.
Stud in the form of a three-dimensional beast, probably a panther, seated with its back legs tucked under, its forepaws extended and its head arched back over the left shoulder. The tail and forepaws are broken. The underbelly is hollow with a central shank cast in one with a broken rove.
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Department
Measurement details
Dimensions:0 - Whole:L 1.6cm (L 5/8")
Documentation notes
The panther has been linked with the worship of Bacchus in Roman literature and art (Hutchison 1986, 145) as it was reputed to be the favourite animal of the god on the grounds that "it is the most exciteable of beasts and leaps lightly like a maenad" (Philostr. Imag. I.19.4). Bacchus also elected to go inot battle disguised as a panther according to Diodorus (IV.4.4).
In Britian free-standing panther figurines have been found (see Pitts 1979, pl.27, no.279) but panthers used as decorative elements on functional objects, such as this stud and the pin described later, are rare. Bacchic imagery is not common in the military zone but it is possible that it is the deity's role as a saviour god - a preserver from death - which is being invoked at Camelon (see Henig 1984, 175, 180, 201).
Field collection reference
CN75
Site Type
Site
fort annexe
Accession number
1999-012-084

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