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Stone female head


Height: 57.000 cm

Gift of Sir T. Fermor-Hesketh, Bt.

P&EE 1903 11-21 1

Room 49: Roman Britain

    Stone female head

    Roman Britain, 1st-4th centuries AD
    From Towcester, Northamptonshire

    Roman art meets native British art

    This large female head was probably a finial from a monumental tomb alongside Watling Street (the Roman road which ran from London to Wroxeter), outside the Roman town of Lactodurum (Towcester). It represents a woman, larger than life-size, her hair worn in thick strands secured by a narrow band or diadem. Two curled locks descend on to the cheeks.

    The head shows a mixture of native British and Roman styles. Though the Celtic style indicates that it was probably made by a local craftsman, the exaggerated features and flat face do recall Roman theatre masks.

    T.W. Potter, Roman Britain, 2nd edition (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)

    M. Henig, The art of Roman Britain (London, Batsford, 1995)

    J.M.C. Toynbee, Art in Britain under the Roman (Oxford University Press, 1964)