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Piece of Green Egyptian Porphyry

This piece of green Egyptian porphyry was recently found by our summer placement from Leicester University in a box containing archaeological bulk finds. The bulk finds were excavated by Rugby Archaeological Society from Tripontium, the Romano-British town which was located five miles from present day Rugby.

Porphyry is a type of igneous rock containing large-grained crystal. This piece would have been imported to Roman Britain and it would have been used in a decorative feature such as inlay on table tops or the back of chairs. They were often cut into geometric shapes to form larger patterns. This piece is triangular and measures approximately 7cm x 5cm and is about 1cm thick.

It would have been expensive to purchase due to its importation which therefore limited its ownership to the very wealthy. Since there was a scarcity of imports of coloured decorative stone into Roman Britain, this piece is a rare find.

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