VR-2 antler

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Classification: votive offering
Material: antler
Size: length: 13.3 cm, width: 3.2 cm, thickness: 1.7 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: between 1883 and 1884
Find circumstances: construction works
Current location: Museo di Storia Naturale Verona (repository)
Inventory Nr.: 5027

Inscription: VR-2 (malav·zn)

Sources: Cipolla 1884: 4–13
Mayr 1958: 41–42 [No. II] with photo
Mancini & Prosdocimi 1976: 111–114, 119–121


Antler pin.
Large dimension, however smaller than the other inscribed antler piece found in San Briccio di Lavagno; L-shaped; oval cross section; coloured from light beige to light brown. Surface worked and smoothed. The thicker end sawed through, rounded and smoothed. The other end splintered broken; on the back side almost to the middle this side splintered. Here the spongiosa structure visible which is partly orange coloured. On the long side, near the splintered end a perforation. On the edge of the thicker end three small bores.
The above-mentioned dimensions result of the autopsy by the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum. Mancini indicates: "lunghezza mm. 133, larghezza massima 30" (cp. Mancini & Prosdocimi 1976: 121). Marchesini notes: "Lungh max 11,5 cm; spess 3 cm" (cp. MLR: 78).
On the rounded curve an inscription where the second part after the separator probably displays a reduced form of the well attested verb þinaχe.
The second antler piece from San Briccio di Lavagno was found between 1883 and 1884. Cipolla does not explicitly indicate the present antler as he has done related to the other inscribed antler from San Briccio di Lavagno (cp. Cipolla 1884: 9; although Cipolla notes that "fra le corna di cervo, richiamarono principalmente la mia attenzione due pezzi", he discusses in succession only the larger antler and the here visible inscription. However, it has to admit that it cannot verified if Cipolla really means the present antler.). 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 too 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 which served as mounting as it turns out concerning many objects from the Fritzens-Sanzeno culture like the bronzes from Sanzeno, the inscription and in particular the potential interpretation of the characters N sZ2 s as reduced verbal form of þinaχe as well as 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 45", an autopsy was effected (cp. MLR: 78 [MLR 45]). 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.