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Tombstone of a soldier's daughter

 

Height: 73.000 cm
Width: 77.000 cm

P&EE 1970 1-2 7

Room 49: Roman Britain

    Tombstone of a soldier's daughter

    Roman Britain, 2nd to 4th centuries AD
    Found ½ a mile south-east of the site of the Roman fort at Kirkby Thore, Cumbria (AD 1860)

    A vision of the afterlife

    The name of the woman is missing from this broken tombstone. However, the remaining part of the inscription in the lower right corner tells us that she was the daughter of a military standard-bearer (imaginifer) called Crescens. The scene shows a funeral banquet, a common motif on the tombstones of Romano-British women. The dead woman reclines on a couch holding a fancy two-handled cup or goblet. A servant passes her food from a decorative three-legged table.

    Framing the scene are a number of motifs symbolising death and the Afterlife: the gaping head on the right probably represented all-devouring death; the pine-cone, above, was a symbol of immortality, and the rosette, next to it, was a symbol of fertility in the Afterlife.

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    On display: Room 49: Roman Britain

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