VR-1 antler

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Classification: votive offering
Material: antler
Size: length: 23 cm, width in the area of the perforation: 9.5 cm, thickness max.: 1.9 cm, thickness min.: 3.2 cm
Condition: incomplete, damaged
Archaeological culture: Late Iron Age
Date: 5th–4th centuries BC
Date derived from: archaeological context, cultural context

Site: San Briccio (fraction of: Lavagno, Verona, Veneto, Italy)
Coordinates (approx.): 45° 27' 18.00" N, 11° 7' 8.40" E [from site]
Find date: 1883
Find circumstances: construction works
Current location: Museo di Storia Naturale Verona (on exhibition)
Inventory Nr.: 5028

Inscription: VR-1 (tinesuna)

Sources: Cipolla 1884: 4–13
Mayr 1958: 41 [No. I] with photo
Mancini & Prosdocimi 1976: 111–114, 119–121


Antler pin.
Large dimension; curved and forked; on the longer and narrower part of the fork, near to the rounded end perforated. In the middle area of the fork smoothed; in the area of the inscription also worked and smoothed. The rest of the surface not worked. Different states of the ends: The shorter end of the fork is on one side broken, the other end is rounded. The longer end of the fork is sawed through and rounded. The end of the antler pin is broken. In the fracture areas and moreover in the area around the perforation the spongiosa structure visible partly coloured from orange-brown to orange-red.
The above-mentioned dimensions refer to the indications given by Mancini (cp. Mancini & Prosdocimi 1976: 119). Marchesini indicates "corno di cervo; un foro, dal diam di 0,6 cm, è praticato a 1,6 cm da una estremità (...). Lungh 22,8 cm; largh alla biforcazione 9,5 cm; spes 3,5–1,9 cm" (cp. MLR: 77).
Near the perforation an inscription.
The large antler piece was found 1883 in San Briccio di Lavagno. During construction works of a military fort an important archaeological site was found and at the same time destroyed by these works. Because of these destructions the stratigraphy and a major part of the found material were lost. The remained evidences and recent excavations by Salzani 1983 and 1984 indicate the remains of a settlement, a votive deposit and a burial place. Important findings related to the Late Iron Age are an anthropomorphic pendant made of thin bronze sheet and numerous antlers like the present antler or the other inscribed antler piece incorporated in the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum (cp. Salzani 1976: 193; MLR: 76).
The age determination given above goes back to Gambacurta who refers to the references by Salzani (cp. Gambacurta 2002b: 122, fn. 22).
The antler piece from San Briccio di Lavagno is very large and not worked as handle of a key, a knife or another tool. Moreover different aspects are indicative of the object's interpretation as votive offering: the perforation on the narrower antler fork which served as mounting as it turns out concerning many objects from the Fritzens-Sanzeno culture like the bronzes from Sanzeno, the inscription alongside below the perforation, the partly interpretation of San Briccio di Lavagno i.a. as cult place. Likewise Nothdurfter rates the two antler pieces from San Briccio di Lavagno among the "Hirschgeweihvotive" (cp. Nothdurfter 2002: 1148 [list 3, No. 4]).
In the recently released study about the Raetic inscriptions by Marchesini the object is listed with "MLR 44", an autopsy was effected (cp. MLR: 77 [MLR 44]). Here, the object is indicated without inventory number, however the inventory number given above was verified by the autopsy by the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum.
Autopsied by the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum in November 2015.



Cipolla 1884 Carlo Cipolla, "III. Lavagno", Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità (1884), 4–13.
Gambacurta 2002b Giovanna Gambacurta, "Manufatti iscritti in osso o corno", in: Giovanna Gambacurta, Daniela Locatelli, Luigi Malnati, Patrizia Manessi, Anna Marinetti, Giovanna Luisa Ravagnan (Eds), Akeo. I tempi della scrittura. Veneti antichi: alfabeti e documenti, 121–126.
Mancini & Prosdocimi 1976 Alberto Mancini, Aldo Luigi Prosdocimi, "Nota sui Corni Iscritti di S. Briccio di Lavagno e sul "Retico"", in: Alessandra Aspes (Red.), 3000 anni fa a Verona. Dalla fine dell'età del Bronzo all'arrivo dei romani nel territorio Veronese, Verona: 1976, 111–122.
Mayr 1958 Karl M. Mayr, "Hirschhörner mit etrusko-rätischen Inschriften aus S. Briccio di Lavagno (Verona)", Der Schlern 32 (1958), 41–42.