British Collections by Geographical Regions:

East Midlands of England

The East Midlands includes material from Derbyshire, Leicestershire, part of Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland.

One of the most striking objects from this region in the Ashmolean's collections is the bronze head of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (ruled AD 161-180) found near Brackley in Northamptonshire. The bearded subject closely resembles some of the portraits of the emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius. However, despite the confident association of this portrait with images of the emperor made in or clearly influenced by Rome, this head has features which strongly suggest that it was made in Britain or northern Gaul. The archaeological context of the head of Marcus Aurelius has not yet been explored. It was ploughed up in the 1970s in a field on the south-western slope of a well-watered valley running south-east from Banbury to Brackley.

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Head of Marcus Aurelius (Click to enlarge)

Bronze head of Marcus Aurelius, AD 161-180 (AN2011.46)

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January 2012