Friday 15 October 2021

Pagan Eye: Gang Chain - A Brutal Relic from History

I took this photograph at the Nero exhibition, which is currently on at the British Museum. It shows a gang chain - a horrific relic found in Wales - dating from the time of Roman presence in the country. The description panel beside the chain reads:

"This chain held enslaved people, prisoners or criminals. It is extremely heavy. The wearers were forced tightly - and painfully - together. The chain was found in a lake on Mona (Anglesey, Wales), a stronghold of the druids. For centuries people left metal offerings in the lake and other watery contexts. Violence and slavery were a brutal reality in Britain. Rome's presence, and its exploitation of the provinces rich natural resources, exacerbated the problem."

I suspect no one will ever know for sure if the chain was placed there by someone who escaped slavery under the Romans, or had been a prisoner in some other way. The object is on loan to the British Museum from the National Museum Wales. The Nero exhibition runs until 24 October and you can find more details here:

My Pagan Eye posts show photos that I find interesting - seasonal images, pagan sites, events, or just pretty pictures. If you want to send me a photo for a Pagan Eye post, please email it to Let me know what the photo shows and whether you want your name mentioned or not. For copyright reasons, the photo must be one you have taken yourself. 

Previous related posts

No comments: