The 'Everleigh' Philosopher

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The 'Everleigh' Philosopher

4th - 5th Century AD
H: 6.25cm W: 2.4cm



A complete Romano-British statuette of a bearded and moustachioed man, wrapped in a cloak. In the round, with head tilted slightly upwards and feet a little splayed, on a rectangular base. The hair radiates backwards from the crown of the head and may be designed to represent plaits, with the ends as knops above the forehead. Thick moulding around the neck represents either a torque or a large collar. The figure is designed to stand upright by itself, although may have also formed part of another structure, as a finial or similar. The figure is stylised to the extent that the head is out of proportion with the body, being somewhat too large. He is seated on a small bench, not visible from the front. No direct parallel is known, although the seated posture is reminiscent of Greek philosopher statues, hence the identification here. His features, in particular his head, are reminiscent of Celtic figures, and known representations of the deity Sucellus. The figure here, however, is missing the attributes (jar or small cooking pot) associated with the god and it is unlikely to be him. Another possibility is that of a schoolteacher or tutor, similar to the central figure in a Roman relief from Neumagen, near Trier (see E. M. Wightman, Roman Trier and the Treviri (London 1970), pl. 14a, p. 150).


Treasure Hunting Magazine, A Hobby of True Discovery, May 2022, pp. 41-43
David Aaron Ltd, 2023, No. 18.


Found by metal detectorist Christopher Phillips in a field in Everleigh, Wiltshire, UK, on 10th August 2021 (recorded with the Portable Antiquities Scheme, report no. WILT-81FA47).
ALR: S00221759, with IADAA certificate, this item has been checked against the Interpol database.