80-125 AD, bronze, height: 21 cm, Leiden (Roomburg Polder)
This bronze visor mask was originally fastened to a Roman equestrian helmet by the hinge on top. These special helmets with visor masks were worn at dressage demonstrations and tournaments. For these occasions, the horsemen as well as the horses were fitted out with richly decorated parade gear, meant to protect them, but also to impress.
The mask was found during excavation at the Roman fortress Matilo (Leiden-Roomburg) in the bed of the so-called Corbulo's Canal, together with some horse gear. Possibly the mask was thrown into the water by a Roman horseman as an offering to the gods. The finds of horse gear and horses' bones on this site were of special importance because up till then it was thought that only infantry units were stationed in the fortress Matilo. Because of its luxuriant curly hair the visor mask was named the ''Gordon mask', after the Dutch popular singer Gordon.
- Date of creation
- van 1 tot 150
- Archeological finds from the Netherlands
- for information contact: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden