Page last updated at 09:41 GMT, Wednesday, 23 July 2008 10:41 UK

Roman tombstone to go on display

The tombstone to Insus Vodullus at Lancashire Conservation Studios
The stone is tentatively dated to 100 AD

A Roman gravestone which shows a soldier holding the severed head of a barbarian is set to be displayed in Lancashire by the end of the year.

The 6ft (1.8m) tombstone was unearthed by builders who were laying foundations for a block of flats in 2005.

Experts are working to restore the stone, which depicts a cavalryman carrying a sword and the head.

It is hoped the stone will go on show to the public in Lancaster City Museum by December.

Stephen Bull, curator of Military History and Archaeology at Lancashire Museums Service, said there was a very good chance the stone depicts a real incident.

"The inscription tells us that the man was ranked as a curator in the Roman auxiliary," he said.

"To depict him in such a dramatic and war-like position, when none of the other tombstones of this period show such a thing, makes it very likely that we are looking at something either real, or very similar to an event that happened."

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




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