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Dress and ornament
in Roman Britain

Woman's head

Height: 57.000 cm

P&EE 1903 11-21 1

Stone woman's head

From: Towcester, Northamptonshire
Date: 1st-4th centuries AD

This rather glum-looking carved stone head was found outside the town of Towcester close to the famous Roman road called Watling Street, which runs all the way from Kent to North Wales. It may have been part of the decoration of a tomb next to the road.

The woman doesn't seem to be cheered up by her fancy fashionable hairstyle. Can you see the locks curving on to her cheeks, and the band in her hair? The head has been carved in the British style, but the face is quite flat with extra large features, rather like theatre masks that were worn in Roman plays.