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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 August, 2004, 07:05 GMT 08:05 UK
Roman altar on display in office
Roman altar
The altar is dedicated to the Roman Goddess of Good Fortune
A Roman altar, which was discovered during excavation work, is being displayed at an office in Cumbria.

The altar is dedicated to Fortuna, the Goddess of Good Fortune, and was found on the site of BBC Radio Cumbria's Annetwell Street office in Carlisle.

The 1,900-year-old artefact was found prior to the building's construction.

Most Roman artefacts found during the dig ended up at Tullie House Museum, but the remains of the small altar were allowed to be kept by the BBC.

It has been put on display in the reception area of the station following a small ceremony performed by BBC Director of Nations and Regions Pat Loughrey, Tullie House Museum and Arts Manager Hilary Wade, and Tim Padley, Keeper of Archaeology.

Made of clay

Managing Editor of BBC Radio Cumbria, Nigel Dyson, said: "The idea to display the altar came from a member of staff who suggested it would be appropriate to return it to the site where it was found.

"It's fitting that it now remains there and we hope that it brings good fortune to everyone in the county and not just the BBC."

Tullie House Museum and Arts Manager Hilary Wade said: "It couldn't be in a more relevant place, having been excavated on the site of the BBC radio station."

The altar is rare because it is made of clay instead of stone and the inscription is incised around the focus - the place on top where an offering would be made - rather than on the front.

The Latin inscription translates as "The Dedicator has paid his vow to Fortuna willingly deservedly".

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