SZ-19 handle

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Classification: ladle
Archaeological type: simpulum
Material: bronze
Size: length: 23.8 cm, thickness: 8 mm
Condition: incomplete
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 (repository)
Inventory Nr.: 13.126

Inscription: SZ-19 (kạþ̣ạ[?]:̣[?]ạ?[?]$)

Sources: PID: 17–18 [No. 200]



Handle of a simpulum (or simpuvium).
All-over covered with patina from light green to dark green in colour with white and brown patches. According to the typology of comparable objects the handle has the typical S-curved elongated handle. Square cross section. Ladle and the upper part of the handle are missing. In the area of the lower part where normally the ladle is attached, the cross-sectional tapering and a rivet are visible.
The above-mentioned dimensions result of the autopsy by the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum. Marchesini indicates for "MLR 226" (cp. discussion below): "Lungh max 24 cm; sezione 0,8 cm" (cp. MLR: 207).
Remains of an inscription on the flat side.
In accord with Gleirscher Schumacher dates the fragment to the period from the 5th to the 4th centuries BC (cp. Schumacher 2004: 245 and 247). This date determination follows also the common dating of this kind of banqueting service.
According to the information given by Whatmough the bronze object was found in Sanzeno, but bought in Bozen for the Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum (cp. PID: 17). 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.
Compared to the description in the PID, the attribution is uncertain and arguable. There is also kept a second bronze fragment of a simpulum in the museum with the same inventory number but this fragment does definitely not fit to No. 200 in the PID. Also the recently released study about the Raetic inscriptions by Marchesini cannot clarify this case: The bronze handle with incised characters, stored in the Tyrolean State Museum with the inventory number 13.126, is listed with "MLR 226". Moreover the object is indicated as "inedita", however at the same time this assessment is marked as doubtful (cp. MLR: 207 [MLR 226]; an autopsy was effected). An attribution of the object listed in the PID with No. 200, therefore SZ-19 in Schumacher, was effected with "MLR 238" whereas the object is indicated as "dispersa" (cp. MLR: 213 [MLR 238]).
Autopsied by the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum in November 2013.