|Discovery:||arch excav, 1893 Fox, G.E.|
|History:||Fulford/Clarke/1999, 177: `found...in a pit cutting through the remains of the central house...resting on a pewter vessel in what the excavators believed to be a well'.|
|Dimensions:||0.6 x 0.36 x 0.36 (converted from Macalister/1945)|
Reading Museum Store.
Macalister/1945, 473: `It now measures 1' 11 1/2" in height and consists of a plinth, originally about 0' 4" X 1' 2" X 1' 2", with a circular base above it, having a cyma and a torus moulding. Above is the pillar, which is of a cone shape, widening upwards from 0' 8" to 0' 10 1/2" diameter, and then narrowing to the top. It looks like the finial of a large balustrade. The top is broken off: no doubt it originally narrowed to a point, but the diameter at the fracture is 0' 7".
On the side of the cone is an Ogham inscription...We may compare the altar at Loughor (405), also a late Roman work, which has been adapted as a makeshift tombstone'.
Fulford and Clarke/1999, 177: `the bottom half of a Roman dwarf column'.
|Condition:||incomplete , some|
The loss of the top of the `cone' has carried some of the inscription away with it.
Bruce Selwood in Fulford/etal/2000, 19: `It is deep brown in colour and has a soapy feel, being very friable to the touch. The soapy feel is due to the fact that the rock has been heavily impregnated with wax (probably beeswax), as a preservative'.
|Decorations:||no other decoration|
|Macalister, R.A.S. (1945):||EBICATO[B!][-- | --][H!]IMUCO[--|
EBICATO[S] [MAQ]I MUCO[I] [--]
Macalister/1945 473--474 concise discussion
|Handley, M. (1999):||TEBICATO[S] | [MAQ]IMUC[--|
TEBICATO[S] [MAQ]I MUC[OI--
...of Tebicatos (PN), son of the tribe of...
Fulford/Clarke/1999 177--178 reading only
Fulford/etal/2000 10--11 reading only
|Orientation:||vertical up up|
|Position:||n/a ; shaft ; n/a ; undecorated|
CISP [MH]: The inscription is carved along two vertical and nearly parallel stem-lines.
Macalister/1945, 473: `scratched'.
|Date:||500 - 700 (Fulford/Clarke/1999)|
Fulford/Clarke/1999, 180, discussing the context of the find, conclude that `a date between the 5th and the early 7th century' seemed likely, but that this was provisional, pending radiocarbon dating.
350 - 425 (Fulford/etal/2000)
Fulford/etal/2000, 1--23, provides a full discussion of the internal and archaeological dating of this inscription.
|Ling. Notes:||Fulford/etal/2000, 12--14: `Linguistically the words MAQI MUCOI provide us with no problems. They are perfectly standard spellings. The use of maqi, rather than maq, maci, macci, or mac, could indicate a date range throughout the use of the ogham script. ... Turning to TEBICATOS we must note that this is the first attestation of the name. The element Teb-, although unparalleled among the Insular inscriptions, is found in earlier Ancient Celtic names. The element -catos, on the other hand, is both correctly placed in the genitive and well attested, meaning something like 'battle'. The orthography of the name is also significant with no sign of the loss of the final syllable, or of the unstressed medial vowel (-i-), or of vowel affection, For instance if our name Tebicatos, had been changed by vowel affection, the e, followed as it is by an i, would itself have changed to an i. Lenition, or the softening of consonants (i.e. /t/ > / /) does not appear in the inscription, but this is a development that ogham as a script fails to portray. Of these linguisitic features perhaps the most significant is the lack of vowel affection, as this is often seen as the earliest of the linguistic changes visible in ogham'.|
|Palaeography:||Macalister/1945, 473--474: `scratched, on two vertical lines provided for the purpose...The fracture of the top has carried away the last three scores of the S of EBICATOS, but the restoration is plain. The M, A, and part of the Q at the beginning of the second line are flaked away, and with the top fracture are lost the vowel points at the end of MUCOI and the name which followed it. Even to this place, seemingly remote from Ogham tradition, hostility has pursued the mucoi formula'.|
Fulford/etal/2000, 15: `Turning to the palaeography of the inscriptions we find two features of note. The first is the possible use of letter division. In the second line of the inscription the five strokes of the letter I grow progressively smaller as they move up the stem line, much like the shape of a pine tree. This is an unusual feature, but it would seem to indicate the role of someone very comfortable with the ogham script in the creation of this inscription. The second feature is that the inscriptions ... was carved on two stem-lines, a lay-out usually seen as symptomatic of later ogham inscriptions. ... Based on the presence of stem-line ogham in manuscripts it has usually been assumed that the stem-line is a later development, with ogham carved on the edge, or arris, of a astone being the earlier form. The site of Pool in Orkney has produced a stone with an ogham inscription carved on stem-lines and re-used face down within a probably 6th-century pavement. On the basis of this find we are no longer in a position where we have to see stem-line ogham inscriptions as late. ... Yet when we recall the shape of the stone - rounded with no edges - we can begin to see that the use of stem-lines may simply have been the result of the shape of the stone. No arris was available: the lapidary had to use stem-lines of the delineation of the ogham script.'
Macalister/1945, 473: `there can be no doubt whatever about the reading, so far as it is preserved'.
CISP [MH]: The surviving strokes are all quite well preserved, although Macalister's judgment about the certainty of his reading can be questioned. For this see Fulford/etal/2000, 10--11.
The element Teb- is most likely related to the -tep- of names like VORTEPOR. Another possible parallel is the name Tibatto, a fifth-century leader of the Bacaudae in Gaul.