Page last updated at 14:36 GMT, Sunday, 7 June 2009 15:36 UK

Roman 'expense' tablets head home

Vindolanda Tablet
The Vindolanda tablets suggest Roman officials submitted expense claims

Roman writing tablets highlighting the inflated expenses claims of public officials 2,000 years ago are to return to their Northumberland home.

The tablets were found at Vindolanda - a Roman encampment on Hadrian's Wall -in 1973 and detail hundreds of expenses claimed by Roman officials.

They are currently held by the British Museum in London.

But under a scheme funded by regional development agency One NorthEast, the wooden tablets are to return home.

Five of the translated tablets contain 111 lines detailing entertainment claims at the Roman camp.

The items include ears of grain, hobnails for boots, bread, cereals, hides and pigs.

The tablets will be returned to Vindolanda for a range of themed exhibitions as part of a rolling programme of displays.

Stacy Hall, director of tourism at One NorthEast said: "Hadrian's Wall is one of the most significant Roman sites in the world and the Vindolanda Tablets are a vital part of the story of this exciting era in British history."

More than 400 tablets were discovered at the site and are some of the earliest examples of the written word in Britain.

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