A MYSTERIOUS ROMAN priest’s headdress is to go on display at Colchester Castle.

The crown is part of the Adorn: Jewellery, the Human Story exhibition at Colchester Castle.

It is one of two found at Cavenham, Suffolk, in 1925, and is believed to have been ritually buried.

It is exceptionally rare and of unusual design, making it harder to interpret what it was used for.

The headdress will, for the first time, be displayed alongside a replica of what it may have looked like when it was worn by a Roman priest more than 1,600 years ago.

It is believed the crowns represent a fusion of Roman and Celtic religious practices.

Colchester Museums’ curators believe the crown may date to the 4th century AD.

It adds to growing evidence of a pagan revival at a time when Christianity was dominant in Britain.

The crown would have originally dazzled, appearing golden, and was probably adorned with metal feathers and glass or gems.

The front would have been decorated with Roman or ancient British gods, pictured in their temples.

Glynn Davis, senior curator for the museum, said: “This is an extraordinary object.

“It may not be as obviously beautiful as the other jewellery in the exhibition, but the mystery behind its wearer and what it would have represented makes it intriguing.

“Was it indeed worn by a Roman priest? And if so, what power would this individual have held in ancient Roman society?”

The exhibition will be available to see until February 16.

Julie Young, Colchester councillor responsible for culture, added: “The Cavenham Crown is one of more than 200 fascinating artefacts on display in the Adorn exhibition, each with their own unique story to tell – but, for me, it is its mystery that makes it stand out.”