Silver phalera showing Medusa’s image, from Vidolanda

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Medusa’s image, discovered on a silver phalera (a decorative medallion worn on the breastplate of Roman soldiers during parades) unearthed at the fort of Vindolanda, near Hadrian’s Wall. The embellishment was found during 2023 excavations of the floor of military barracks at Vindolanda, which once occupied the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire. Phalerae such as this would have been awarded to soldiers who demonstrated valour in battle; very few have survived to this day, as the precious metals they were made from could have been melted down and used for other, more useful purposes.

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