Abstract – Looking Death in the Face

KODAK Digital Still Camera
Figure 1: Stamped roof-tile with the name of the Legion XX Valeria Victrix. It is held in the Grosvenor Museum in Chester (Authors own Photograph)

The Roman fortress of Deva (modern Chester) was the largest fortress Britain. It is located on the banks of the River Dee, (from which it is named) and functioned as an important port in the northwest of Britain. The Grosvenor Museum in Chester holds the largest collection of Roman funerary art in the UK, and this collection will form the sample of my research.

Over 450 Roman-tombstones survive, so this research-project will be focus on just one location (Chester) and will look through the lens of ethnicity, sex and freedom; since Rome and its provinces were a slave owning society. This is the first aim of the research. Re-evaluating  archaeological evidence is an important part of the process of research, and interest in the everyday lives of ancient people is currently at the centre of archaeological research.

In addition to this research, the second aim is at ways the internet can assist in learning, and how hard it can be to do so. I will be using Twitter and a blog to record the research process in a way that is accessible and informative to both an academic and general audience.

Recently, this type of research into the diversity of Ancient Britain has raised controversy, especially online (Beard, M. Roman Britain in Black and White, TLS 03/08/2017.) The third aim comes out of the first, looking at how Britain views its past and the extent funerary evidence may assist in understanding the population of Roman Britain.

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