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Victoria County History of Kent Vol. 3  1932  Romano-British Kent - Military History Page 36

be larger units, issued either by the Government or by private dealers, to pass current as pieces of definite weight or value. It is notable that they should occur only in the West and particularly in Britain, for Britain was the only province of the Empire where silver coins were freely used towards the end of the fourth century. Isatis seems to be the genitive either of Isas, a name which occurs very rarely, or of Isaac, as in the title Fides Isatis ex Iudaeo ‘the creed of Isaac, the converted Jew,’ dating from the fourth centurv.45
   (3) In 1922 part of a pig of lead was found beneath the floor-level of the second-century house north-west of the platform.46  In a sunk panel the fragment bears in raised letters i ~ in. high the incomplete inscription:-
                                               IMP. NERVAF . CA
Imp[eratoris] Nervae Ca[esaris] : ‘(The property) of the Emperor Nerva.’ It is dated therefore to A.D. 96—8. The pig is of the normal shape which issued, for example, from the mining areas of Flintshire or the Mendips; but, of fifty or sixty instances from Britain, this is the only one hearing the name of Nerva.47
   (4.) Two lead seals were found shortly before 1858 in a rubbish-pit outside the fort. Both come seemingly from the same matrix and bear the head of the Emperor Constantine I with this inscription round it:-
                                     CONSTANTINVS P AVG
‘Constantine, Pious, Augustus.’ On the back of each are marks of string. Doubtless they were used to fasten Imperial dispatches or Government property.48
   (5) Two or three stamped tiles have been found during the recent excavations. One, recovered from the site of the two Romano-Celtic temples south of the fort in 1926, reads:-
                                          SYLVIVS M
This is presumably intended for Sylvi m(anu), ‘made by Sylvius.’ The ungrammatical use of the nominative for the genitive is not infrequently found also in Gaulish potters’ stamps (e.g. ALBVS M, DOECCVS M, FELIX M, PAVI.VS) and anticipates the use of indeclinable Romano-Celtic names in the fifth and sixth centuries. Traces of the British Fleet arc as rare at Richborough as they are common at Dover and Lympne, but two specimens of tiles bearing the familiar stamp CL.BR have been found in the fortress during the recent excavations.
   (6) Reference has already been made to fragments of bronze statuary found at various times (above, p. 27). The only other important work of sculpture found on the site is a large slab, 4 ft. 2 in. high in its present damaged state, and 2 ft. 2 in. wide.49  It is of oolite, possibly from the quarries of Marquise, near Boulogne, and it is carved in relief with the draped figure of a woman which, by its grace and dignity, likewise suggests a Gaulish rather than a
   45  Maassen, Gesch. der Quellen des canon. Rechis, 604.
46  First Richborough Rep. 42.
   47  For lead-mining generally, see Gowland, Archaeologia lvii, 359; and Besnier, Revue archeologue, 5th Ser. xii, 211, xiii, 36, and xiv, 98.
   48  C. R. Smith, Gent. Mag. 1858, July, p. 65, and ColI. Ant. vi, 120 with illustration. The finder, Rolfe, gave the seals to Mayer, but they do not seem to be now in the Mayer collection at Liverpool. Eph. Epig. vii, 1149.
   49  First Richborough Rep. (Soc. Antiq.), 37.

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