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Sunday, November 15, 2015
Fragments of Roman building sign discovered at Silchester
The two pieces were found approximately ten metres apart in the SE quarter of Insula III. Image: University of Reading
Reading University archaeologists discovered a fragment of marble inscribed with the letters ‘ba’ during the final season of excavating Silchester Roman Town in 2013 (Hampshire, southeast England). This fragment matches another piece with the letters ‘At’ which was found at Silchester in 1891, and is now part of Reading Museum’s Silchester Collection.
Together these read At(e)ba(tum) – ‘of the Atrebates’ – the French tribe who likely founded Silchester in 1st Century BC. The two pieces were found approximately ten metres apart in the SE quarter of Insula III, a block of the Roman Town. They are probably from a slab of marble from Purbeck in Dorset, which was either a sign commemorating the construction of a significant building, or a dedication to a deity.