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.

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More information


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)


Height: 57.000 cm

Museum number

P&EE 1903 11-21 1


Gift of Sir T. Fermor-Hesketh, Bt.


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