Magnificent 2,000-year-old Roman helmet unveiled

  • 9 January 2012

A silver-gilt Roman helmet of outstanding quality and international importance discovered as part of the the Hallaton Treasure and ArtFunded in 2007 has been restored to its former glory at the British Museum

The Hallaton Helmet after conservation work

The Hallaton Helmet after conservation work

A silver-gilt Roman helmet of outstanding quality and international importance discovered as part of the the Hallaton Treasure and ArtFunded in 2007 has been restored to its former glory.

Leicestershire County Council acquired the find for display at Harborough Museum and thanks to Heritage Lottery funding the helmet has been conserved and reconstructed by the expertise on hand at the British Museum.

Discovery

Archaeologists who made the original discovery at Hallaton in Leicestershire, used to finding more glamorous gold and silver coins, joked they had found a fairly modern “rusty bucket”. Little did they know at the time what a hugely significant archaeological find they had come across.

The “Hallaton Helmet” was found ten years ago by members of the Hallaton Fieldwork Group and professional archaeologists from University of Leicester Archaeological Services who were excavating the remains of a 2,000-year-old Iron Age shrine. The site appears to be a major religious centre, having produced the largest number of Iron Age coins ever excavated in Britain and possible evidence of ritual feasting dating to the mid-1st century AD. The finds from this site would later become known as the Hallaton Treasure.

On display

It is the only Roman helmet found in Britain with the majority of the silver-gilt plating surviving, and one of only a handful ever discovered. It is also one of Britain’s earliest Roman helmets. The Hallaton Helmet will be displayed permanently at Harborough Museum in Market Harborough, Leicestershire from Saturday, 28 January 2012 alongside the other finds from the Hallaton Treasure.

Tags: weve-helped-to-buy