Vindolanda Cavalry Altar
Vindolanda Cavalry Altar
Vindolanda Cavalry Altar
Vindolanda Cavalry Altar
Vindolanda Cavalry Altar

Vindolanda Cavalry Altar

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Volunteers found the original of this fascinating cavalry altar at Vindolanda Roman Fort during excavations in the spring of 2021.

Found amongst the stones of the floor in a section of the site that the Vindolanda archaeologists believe to be part of a fourth-century cavalry barracks. 

As there is no inscription on the altar identifying the God shown on this charming altar, it has been up to the archaeologists at Vindolada to interpret the attributes shown on the altar to try and identify him.

There are two primary candidates, Mercury and Mars.

The figure is depicted with a helmet with possible wings, and he is shown next to a horse or donkey. These are classic attributes of Mercury, the God of travel and messengers.

It is also possible that this altar depicts Mars, whose common attributes include a spear, a helmet and muscular nude physic. All these features are shown in this carving.

It is also possible that the soldiers who were active in these fourth-century barracks merged the attributes of these two deities to create their own God. This character would be someone who would guide and protect the soldier, and they would have kept this altar in a niche on the wall watching over them.
This piece is likely to undergo further testing, and one of the questions that researchers will hopefully answer is whether or not the altar was painted in bright colours. We look forward to discovering the answer and think it would look brilliant painted.

The original altar was carved out of sandstone, so we used clay that mimics the gritty texture of the original to create the right look and feel to the piece.




Approx. 320 mm tall, 165 mm diameter


This replica Roman has been hand-made in Northumberland by Potted History, based on an original artefact.  It has been fired to a temperature of between 1200°C.  This process often results in variations of the surface colour and texture, as is found with original Roman artefacts and gives each piece a unique character.  This item has not been fired at Vindolanda Roman fort in this replica kiln, but it is based on an item that was discovered there. 

All items are sent using a second class postal service, if you wish to have an item sent first class please contact me for a quote. Many Thanks




'Add To Cart' items are ready to send straight away. Please be aware that if bought alongside 'Pre-order' items, your order will be sent when all items are ready. 

'Pre-order' items are made to order, and we will dispatch them as soon as we have handcrafted them for you; this usually takes 90 days, but international orders can take a little longer.

We ship our fabulous replicas worldwide.
Shipping costs are worked out during checkout. They are based on where you are in the world and how heavy your parcel is, which can be very variable.

All items are sent using a second-class postal service. If you wish to have an item sent first class, please contact us for a quote. Many Thanks

If you aren't completely satisfied with your Potted History piece, please get in touch to organise a return. Email us at

Then you can send it back at your own cost in an unused condition within 30 days, and we'll refund you for the cost of the item or items returned. If you include your order number with the returned package, that will speed things up. Please leave any original packaging intact.

Our returns address is:
Potted History, Gregory Court, Rothbury, Northumberland, NE65 7SW


Please be aware that due to items being handmade and finished, colour variations will occur during the making process, and each replica will have some differences.  Also, know that the item photographed may not be the one that you receive, and colours can appear differently on different screens.  Please ensure you look at all the images to get a fully formed idea of the item you are ordering as we try to capture the variations within the images we share.  If you prefer a specific colour variation, please contact us before ordering. 

Don't take our word for it

Hello Graham and Sarah, I wanted to message because I ordered your holy grail pot for my dad's birthday and he is over the moon with it.

Rachel Frankish

Many thanks again for all of the pottery - this will help bring our new Heritage learning programme to life!

Nottingham University Museum

I love it! I love everything about it, what it represents, why you made it and the history behind it. It was worth the wait! Thank you so much.

Gillian Castle

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