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Death in Roman Britain

A soldier's daughter

Height: 73.000 cm
Width: 77.000 cm

P&EE 1970 1-2 7

A soldier's daughter

From: Kirkby Thore, Cumbria (found in 1860)
Date: 2nd to 4th centuries AD

The Romans brought the use of tombstones to Britain. Some of the words in the bottom right-hand corner of this one are missing, but there are still enough for archaeologists to work out that it was made for the daughter of a Roman soldier called Crescens. Look for CRESC in the second line of the writing.

The scene that it shows was quite common on the tombstones of Romano-British women. The dead woman is lying on a couch at her funeral banquet. Her servant is passing her food from a table. See if you can find these symbols: a head with a gaping mouth, which means death; a pine-cone, which stands for life after death; and a rosette, a symbol of plenty in the Afterlife.