Photo of Tombstone of a soldier's daughter

Tombstone of a soldier's daughter

© The Trustees of the British Museum
Image id: 00033478001
Object type: tombstone
Materials: stone
Period / culture: Romano-British
Production date: 2ndC-4thC
Findspot: Kirkby Thore Railway Station
Subject: feast/banquet, death
Department: Prehistory & Europe
Object ref. no: 1970,0102.7
File size: File size info 22.47 MB - 3072 x 2557px
26.01cm x 21.65cm @300ppi
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.

Height: 73 cm
Width: 77 cm

For more details see the British Museum's Collection Database >