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 Museum Explorer

Death in Roman Britain

Tombstone of a young boy

Height: 2.200 m

P&EE 1969 7-1 4

Tombstone of a young boy

From: Old Penrith, Cumbria
Date: early 2nd century AD

This tombstone is of a boy who died aged only 6. Many Romans died while they were still children. Their lives were hard and they often did not have good diets or medical care.

The inscription says 'To the spirits of the departed and of Marcus Cocceius Nonnus, aged 6; he lies buried here'. The Roman numeral for 6 is VI - can you see where this is written?

This tombstone was found near several cremation pots which held the ashes of the dead. Perhaps the burnt remains of Nonnus were in one of these pots.