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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 November 2006, 13:38 GMT
Roman tombstone to stay in city
Lancashire Roman Military Tombstone
The stone is tentatively dated to 100 AD
A Roman gravestone which was unearthed by builders in Lancashire is to go on display near the site where it lay for almost 2,000 years.

The 6ft (1.8m) stone shows a mounted soldier holding a sword and the severed head of a barbarian he had killed.

Builders who were laying foundations for a block of flats in Lancaster city centre found the stone last year.

Archaeologists have worked with a number of organisations to raise enough money to keep it in Lancaster.

Donations to help restore the stone, tentatively dated to 100 AD, came from the V&A, the MLA Purchase Grant Fund and the Oxford-based Haverfield Bequest.

Once conservation has been carried out at the Lancashire Conservation Studios, it will be moved back to Lancaster.

The stone, which was bought with money provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Lancashire County Council, will then go on display at Lancaster City Museum.

Ian Barker, Leader of Lancaster City Council, said it was an important move for local history.

"Lancaster people will be able to see for themselves this link with the city's Roman past," he said.

"The successful outcome to the negotiations and various funding bids is practical evidence of how well the partnership between the city and the county is working in delivering museum services to the district."

Stephen Bull, Curator of Military History and Archaeology, described the stone as "both a crucial insight into the history of the county, and an iconic piece of Lancaster's dramatic past".

See the ancient tombstone

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