Small pendant,

last quarter 1st century BC
Found at the Münster, Basle
Splint of stag antler, sawn and carved
length 4.5 cm
Inv. 1974.A.9144.

3924px x 4291px
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At the beginning of the second decade before Christ Rome decided to advance across the Rhine against the Germanic peoples. In connection with these campaigns a Roman fortress was built on the Münsterhügel in Basle. The pendant with the inscription T.TORI is a typical find from a military zone: similar small plaques, generally of bronze, are known from numerous other Roman military bases. They were used to identify the property of an individual soldier or a detachment. There are two alternative interpretations of the letters scratched an the plate. The abbreviation T. may stand for turma, a mounted squadron of 30 men; it may be followed by the name of the detachment leader in the genitive. In the nominative his name can be assumed to be Torius. However, the inscription could also mean 'Titi Torii', the property of Titus Torius. In the first case the piece would be a label from a piece of luggage, perhaps a sack of supplies, belonging to the Torius squadron. In the second it would have marked Torius's personal equipment.

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