Roman cavalry horse-harness fittings
Displayed at Canterbury Roman Museum is part of one of the most complete sets of Roman cavalry horse-harness fittings in the world. The set was found in 1979 during archaeological excavations in the Marlowe car park, between St Margaret’s Street and Rose Lane.
The set comprises bronze strap fittings and terminals, strap-union roundels and pendants, with tinned and silvered finishes. It is of outstanding quality and must have belonged to a high-ranking cavalry officer. The bronze fittings were used to join together the leather straps of a horse harness and were also decorative – a visible sign of the rider’s rank.
They were buried, together with an iron bridle, in a leather bag, soon after the Roman invasion of AD 43. Who buried them? And why did they not return and retrieve the bag?
Roman cavalry horse-harness fittings found insitu. © Canterbury Archaeological Trust