A cast copper-alloy key dating to the Roman period. Working from one end of the key to the other, the object consists of bow, pedestal, stem and, at the end of the stem, the bit. As is typical of this sort of Roman key, the body is rectangular in section, and is set perpendicular to the bit (Mills È0, 82).The bow has a complex bell-shaped form, which in profile consists of a central, rounded lobe on a flat, rectangular base. The lobe is pierced by a large (6mm diameter) circular hole, and is capped by a suspension loop (now broken). The base lies adjacent to a tapering, sub-pyramidal pedestal, which is slightly narrower than the bow, even at its widest end, thus forming a collar. The wider half of the pedestal is undecorated, but at its narrower end there are three transverse grooves, running all the way around the key's circumference. The pedestal in turn abutts a simple stem of facetted section, and retains traces of red pigment or enamel. At the end of the key, the bit consists of the broken bases of three prongs projecting out at 90 degrees to the stem, and lying above a square area featuring openwork casting. In detail, the latter consists of four thin slots, set at 90 degress to one another, but not touching one another, so that they form a square pattern within a '+'shaped area.The key is solid, cast in a single piece, and measures 46.2mm long x 20.2mm wide x 9.6mm thick. It weighs 27g and has a patchy green patina.
100 x 71