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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 January, 2004, 13:53 GMT
Roman murder victim brought to life
Tullie House Museum - visitcumbria.com
The skull will be the exhibition centrepiece at Tullie House
The victim of a murder in Carlisle in the 3rd Century AD is to be part of an exhibition looking at the Roman way of death.

His skeleton was found in a well in the city during the 1980s - he had been shot in the head and attacked with a sword.

Archaeologists named him 'Duncan', and a 24,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund will fund a reconstruction of his face and exhibition at the Tullie House Museum in Carlisle.

The reconstruction will allow visitors to see how Duncan would have looked more than 1,700 years ago.

Tim Padley, from Tullie House Museum, said without the funding they could not have organised many important elements of the exhibition.

Roman burials

He said: "We could have staged an exhibition about death in Roman Cumbria but we would not have had Duncan's reconstruction and we would not have been able to do the outreach programme and produce the booklet.

"The outreach is to take the museum out of Tullie House and out to the public. The booklet is to provide a permanent record of the research we have done for schools and other people who might be interested."

The exhibition, called 'Into the Hands of the Shades - Death in Roman Cumbria', will seek to explain the Romans' beliefs about death and burials.

Hilary Wade, museum and arts manager at Tullie House said: "We are delighted at the announcement of the funding... [it] will allow us to produce an exciting exhibition based around murder, mystery and intrigue - not something Museum's are traditionally associated with!

"We are bringing together a 3rd Century mystery with 21st Century technology and it is sure to capture the imagination of Cumbrian residents".

Susannah England, from the Countryside Agency's Local Heritage Initiative, said: "The Local Heritage Initiative recognises that the long term future of our local heritage lies in the hands of those who value it at local level.

"This project provides a unique opportunity to preserve Roman heritage and for locals to have access to it."

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