Bishompton veterinary practice (often considered one of the top swine specialist services in Somerset) have this morning revealed their frustration and disappointment at finding out the recently discovered Roman lead ingot which is being commonly referred to as a ” pig ” has absolutely nothing in common with a pig nor any other member of the genus sus type within the suidae family of even-toed ungulates.
The mix up seems to have upset the chairman of the practice Mr Nigel Hogg, who contacted the DD office via email
‘Dear the Daily Detectorist, I am contacting you in regards to the Roman lead pig recently discovered by metal detectorist Jason Butcher. I hear the words “nationally important roman pig made of lead found in Somerset”, and suddenly I’m overwhelmed with joy and start dreaming of giant pig statues in the Museum of Somerset with me cutting the ribbon at the opening ceremony. You know i would have been the right man for the job, as my family have been leading the way on swine research in the Taunton area for over 12 generations and it’s a tad ironic that a nationally important pig artefact gets found on my doorstep, but as I now know this whole thing has nothing to do with pigs nor any other animal for that matter. From what I’ve read, I believe it to be just a lead bar stamped with some inscriptions? Please tell Phil Maholin to forget everything I suggested in my previous email apart from the section relating to my theory on the supposed she-wolf depicted with Romulus and Remus actually being a close relative of the wild boar family known locally as Amanuensis. They can still be found roaming in plentiful numbers around the untamed countryside of Maremma in Tuscany. Yours Sincerely Nigel Hogg.
We now go over to Paul Mccoil who is deciphering fact from fiction over in Somerset trying to ascertain whether the lead ingot has any connection with pigs, or whether someone is telling porkies.
‘Well, the 2ft (60cm) ingot dates from 164 AD and is inscribed with the name of emperor Marcus Aurelius. It is said to have a direct connection with the roman lead mining industry in Somerset. A number of leading Roman antiquarians believe the ingot may have been referred to as a pig due to it weighing roughly the same amount as a newborn piglet, while the DD team think it could be a watered down variant of pick, as in “pick it up”. The item (of considerable weight) would have been carried and often dropped by those bound in slavery resulting in masters whipping and shouting ” pick it up ” frequently to those that either failed or refused to carry an ingot over vast distances, we found references to such events written on old Latin manuscripts buried deep within the Daily Detectorist library one of which read: ” Servus Portandum surplantus metallum Pigrum placeo longius distantai ”
All evidence taken into account we believe the latter is the most likely and conclude the Roman lead pig does indeed have a direct connection with the swine family.