The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)
Roman site reveals secrets
Urns find suggests military base was also home to families
Burial remains of a woman and child found by Hadrian’s Wall show the famous military fortification was also a centre for Roman family life, experts said.
The previously unseen Roman cremation urns, which contain the remains of a young woman and a five-year-old child, are going on display at Birdoswald Roman Fort, Cumbria, close to where they were found.
The remains of the woman and the youngster, who from the proximity of their burial may have been mother and child, challenge the notion that Hadrian’s Wall was the preserve of military men, English Heritage said.
At nearby Corbridge Roman Town, the public will be able to see infant feeding bottles, the remnants of a doll and evidence of board games.
The exhibitions are part of a combined £1.8 million investment by the heritage charity to bring to life the stories of the men, women and children who lived along the Roman empire’s north-western frontier.
The urns were discovered during a rare cemetery excavation in 2009, and analysis of a child’s tooth suggests he or she was around five while the woman is thought to have been in her 20s or 30s.
English Heritage curator of Roman collections Frances McIntosh said: “Alongside its military function, Hadrian’s Wall was a thriving centre of everyday life.
“The discovery of this woman and child is fascinating, it leaves us with questions about how they were related, and why she was buried with armour.”