Page last updated at 11:13 GMT, Wednesday, 15 October 2008 12:13 UK

Rare Roman tombstone goes on show

Lancaster tombstone
The stone shows a Roman soldier with the severed head of a barbarian

A Roman tombstone unearthed in Lancaster has gone on permanent display at the city's museum.

The tombstone, dating to around 100AD, was discovered in 2005.

It was found during an excavation in Aldcliffe Road by the Greater Manchester Archaeology Unit, which is based at the University of Manchester.

The stone is 6ft (1.8m) high, weighs 1500lbs (0.68 tonnes), and depicts an officer riding with the severed head of a barbarian enemy in his hand.

Specialist staff at Lancashire County Council's conservation studio in Preston worked to conserve the tombstone so it is suitable for permanent public display at Lancaster Museum, not far from the site where it had lain for almost 2,000 years.

Stephen Bull, curator of Military History and Archaeology for Lancashire Museums, said: "This stone provides a crucial insight into the history of the county, and is an iconic piece of Lancaster's dramatic past."

Entry to the museum is free.


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