Protoma skládacího stolku/trojnožky (?) z doby římské ze Šlotavy, okr. Nymburk

Title in English A Roman protoma of a folding table/tripod (?) from Šlotava, district Nymburk


Year of publication 2017
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Archeologie ve středních Čechách
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Field Archaeology, anthropology, ethnology
Keywords folding tripods/tables; protoma; Roman fine metalwork; melon hairstyle; Roman Period; Central Bohemian Region; district Nymburk
Description A bronze protoma (Fig. 2 & 3) – a part of a tripod or table from the Roman Period – was found between 2014 and 2015 during metal detecting and the artefact is currently privately held. The authors of the text were allowed to document and study the object, which was discovered in the cadastral territory of Šlotava, Nymburk district (Fig. 1). Unfortunately, the data about its precise location is unavailable as well as the context. Thus, it is currently impossible to determine whether it comes from a settlement or funerary area. The protoma of a folding tripod/table (?) from Šlotava is after several decades another example of the rare group of finds in the barbaric region. In the case of the Šlotava find, we are uncertain whether the protoma was fitted to a wooden or bronze folding furnishing of a household. In the territory of former Czechoslovakia, this is the fifth evidence of this type. The context of its discovery is currently problematic to reconstruct, it is not possible to decide whether it comes from a settlement or funerary environment. In the wider context, the cadaster area of Šlotava belongs to the area of Central Bohemian Polabí (the region along the Elbe river) with a dense settlements pattern in the Roman Period (Droberjar 2002). The classification and dating of the protoma is complicated due to the lack of direct analogies. The protoma has a shape of a young girl bust with a melon hairstyle, which was significantly popular between the 1st and the 3rd century AD. The melon hairstyle is one of typical attributes of the goddess Artemis. This iconographic identification is problematic in the case of the Šlotava find. Other attributes, which would prove the identification, are missing. The dating of the find is based on the comparison to specific types of roman metal fittings, especially the attachments of Dollerup B type. We can thus state, that the protoma falls within the period between the middle of the 1st century and the end of the 2nd century AD. The dimensions of the object are against the later date, also the modelling and overall roughness point to the provincial production. However, the lack of evidence from the region does not allow to suggest a local production of this type of artefacts.
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