The Roman figurine of Capricorn was discovered in 2012 by a metal detectorist in Burrington in North Somerset.  Capricorn, the tenth sign of the Zodiac, has the head of a goat and the body of a fish. Capricorn was also the emblem of the Roman army’s Second Legion Augusta. This unique figurine was found close to the Roman lead mines on the Mendip Hills. The mines were initially overseen by a military detachment, probably from the Second Legion.

Thanks to a partnership with the University of Exeter a 3D model of Capricorn has been created. We’re delighted to be sharing it as part of the Festival of Archaeology Digital Week (11 to 19 July.)

The figurine is on display at the Museum of Somerset in Taunton. It was acquired with support from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund, the Friends of the Museum of Somerset and a donation in memory of William and Kathleen Mayberry. (Photograph: Somerset County Council and South West Heritage Trust, 2020)

Creating the 3D Model

Archaeologist and history student Laura Burnett (and former member of our team) worked with the University of Exeter’s Digital Humanities Lab to create the 3D model of  Capricorn.

In 2019 Laura won the University of Exeter’s Postgraduate Research Showcase prize. Part of the prize was the chance to 3D scan and print an object. She choose the striking copper alloy figurine of Capricorn.

Laura worked with Emma Sherriff and Graham Fereday from the Digital Humanities Team at Exeter University to create the 3D model. She took Capricorn for a day trip to the University of Exeter where he was photographed at high resolution from all angles. These photographs were then combined to create the 3D model.

Laura Burnett and Emma Sherriff preparing to photograph Capricorn (Photograph: University of Exeter)