Two pieces from a Roman building sign destroyed 2000 years ago, possibly by the legendary Boudica, have been reunited thanks to a remarkable discovery made by the University of Reading.
Fragments of inscribed marble [Credit: University of Reading]
During the last season of excavating Silchester Roman Town in 2013, Reading archaeologists found a fragment of stone inscribed with the letters ‘ba'. Expert analysis has now astonishingly revealed that this matches a 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.
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