Archive for August 23, 2015

Two interesting tombstones have been found during the excavations at Arbeia which illustrate the flexibility of the Roman social system and the diversity of people who lived on the northern frontier of the empire.

The Victor Tombstone

Victor was a Moor from North Africa. He was only 20 when he died. Originally he was a slave to a Spanish cavalry soldier Numerianus, but at some point before he died he had been freed. It seems that he continued to travel with his old master as a servant or companion. He died at Arbeia and from the inscription we know that Numerianus’ unit was stationed at Benwell to the west of Newcastle and so it is likely they were just travelling through and staying at the fort either on their way back to Benwell or before embarking on a boat for a journey south or to the continent. Numerianus set up the magnificent tombstone in memory of his ex-slave


The Regina Tombstone

Regina came from the Catuvellani tribe, who lived in the area which today is Hertfordshire. Originally a slave to a Syrian merchant named Baratas, he had freed her and they had married. He set up this fine memorial when she died aged 30.