SZ-17 handle

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Classification: vessel
Archaeological type: situla
Material: bronze
Size: length: 23.6 cm, height: 8.2 cm, diameter: 6.5 mm
Condition: complete, damaged
Date: 5th–4th centuries BC
Date derived from: typology

Site: Sanzeno (Trento, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy)
Coordinates (approx.): 46° 21' 57.60" N, 11° 4' 30.00" E [from site]
Find date: probably in the second half of the 19th century
Find circumstances: old finding
Current location: Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum (on exhibition)
Inventory Nr.: 13.379

Inscription: SZ-17 (sχsi)

Sources: PID: 17 (No. 198)


Bronze handle.
Whatmough suggested that the object is probably the handle of a situla or a bowl (cp. PID: 17). But according to the typology the handle is definitely part of a situla.
Patina from dark green to blackish in colour with brown patches; smoothed.
Stylized animal's head ends, but one end broken. No further decorations visible.
In the area of the broken end an inscription. Further references more related to the inscription: Vetter 1954: 72 (No. 17); Pellegrini 1951: 316 (No. 17). However Pellegrini as well as Vetter note the characters on it as decoration. Detailed photo of the inscription area in LIR: 96 (SA-28).
In accord with Gleirscher Schumacher dates the fragment to the period from the 5th to the 4th centuries BC (cp. Schumacher 2004: 245 as well as 247). This date determination follows also the common dating of the situlae.
According to Whatmough the handle was bought in Bolzano, but found in Sanzeno (cp. PID: 17). Mancini notes that Pellegrini as well as Vetter indicate Mechel / Meclo as find place. But Mancini misinterprets the notes of Vetter and the really confusing remarks made by Pellegrini (cp. LIR: 96). The latter indicates three objects: "frammento di manico di situla a sezione cilindrica" (No. 16), "altro manico di situla, assai bene conservato" (No. 17) - the present SZ-17 handle - and "una spada di ferro" (No. 18), then he refers to No. 198 in PID - the present SZ-17 handle - and places this number to Mechel / Meclo however the No. 198 in PID is definitely related to Sanzeno. The objects related to Mechel / Meclo comprise the numbers from No. 210 to No. 213 (cp. PID: 23). However there are no more indications related to further find circumstances. The object presents one of the old findings from Sanzeno which were found by the local inhabitants at the end of the 19th century in Sanzeno. The major part of these findings were acquired by the Tyrolean State Museum in the course of the turn of the century, hence the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
Autopsied by the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum in November 2013.



LIR Alberto Mancini, Le Iscrizioni Retiche [= Quaderni del dipartimento di linguistica, Università degli studi di Firenze Studi 8–9], Padova: Unipress 2009–10. (2 volumes)