Looking Death in the Face

Reconstruction of Roman Chester, displayed at the Grosvenor Museum. (Wikimedia Commons – By Łukasz Nurczyński – CC BY-SA 4.0)

“Identity is what is draped over a person by the groups of which he or she is part”
Lynn Meskell, Archaeologies of Social Life, p. 32

This page will display all the posts relating to ‘Looking Death in the Face’: Funerary art and society in Roman Chester’ a project I undertook for the International Conference of Undergraduate Research in 2018 (https://www.icurportal.com/).


Abstract – Staring Death in the Face

Part One: Burial Practice and Identity

Romano-British Burial Practice – The Heads in the River

Burial Practice in Roman Chester – The use of lead

Burial Practice in Roman Chester – The Intact Grave of Callimorphus and his son Serapion

Part Two: Iconography and Identity

Iconography and Identity: The Cavalrymen – Rider Reliefs

Iconography and Identity: The Cavalrymen – Aurelius Lucius

Iconography and Identity: Curatia Dinysia

Iconography and Identity: Slavery in Chester

Part Three:

Why is Identity important?

Looking Death in the Face – Closing thoughts



Primary Sources

Dio Cassius, Roman History: Volume IX – Books 71-80, trans. E. Cary 1927. Cambridge MA: Harvard.

Petronius, Satyricon. trans. Sullivan, J.P. (1965) London: Penguin.

Strabo, Geography. trans. Roller, D.W. (2014) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Secondary Sources

Allason-Jones, L. 1989 Women in Roman Britain. London: British Museum Publications Ltd.

Allason-Jones, L. 2008 Daily Life in Roman Britain. Oxford: Greenwood World Publishing.

Anderson, A.S. 1984 Roman Military Tombstones. Aylesbury: Shire Publications Ltd

Anderson, J. Birley, B et al. 2017. Hadrian’s Cavalry. Newcastle: Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums.

Birley, A. 1979. The people of Roman Britain. London: B T Batsford Ltd.

Brettell R.C. Stern, B. Heron, C.P. 2013. Mersea Island Barrow: molecular evidence for frankincense. Essex Society for Archaeology and History, 4, pp.81-7.

Eckardt, H 2014. Objects and Identities. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Grubbs, J.E. 2002. Women and the law in the Roman Empire: a sourcebook on marriage, divorce and widowhood. London: Routledge.

Haverfield, F. 1912. The Romanisation of Roman Britain. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Henig, M. 1984. Religion in Roman Britain. London: B T Batsford Ltd.

Hope, V.M., 1997. Words and pictures: the interpretation of Romano-British tombstones. Britannia, 28, pp.245-258.

Hutchinson, V.J. 1986. The Cult of Bacchus in Roman Britain. In Pagan Gods and Shrines of the Roman Empire, eds. Martin, H and King, A. Oxford: Oxford University Committee for Archaeology.

Mason, D.J.P 2001. Roman Chester: City of Eagles. Stroud: Tempus.

Mattingly, D. 2004. Being Roman: expressing identity in a provincial setting. Journal of Roman archaeology, 17, pp.5-25.

Meskell, L. 1999. Archaeologies of social life. Oxford: Blackwell.

Philpott 1991. Burial Practice in Roman Britain: A survey of grave treatment and furnishing. Oxford: Tempus Repartvm.

Saller, R.P. and Shaw, B.D. 1984. Tombstones and Roman family relations in the Principate: civilians, soldiers and slaves. The Journal of Roman Studies, 74, pp.124-156.

Wallace-Hadrill, A. 2012. ‘The Creation and Expression of Identity: Roman’ in Classical Archaeology 2nd Edition eds. Alcock, S.E. and Osborne, R. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Webster, J. 2001. ‘Creolizing the Roman Provinces.’ American Journal of Archaeology, 105(2), 209-225

Webster, J., 2005. Archaeologies of slavery and servitude: bringing ‘New World’perspectives to Roman Britain. Journal of Roman archaeology, 18, pp.161-179.

Internet Sources

Vanderbilt, S. Roman Inscriptions of Britain (accessed 20/08/2018) –

Vanderbilt, S. Roman Inscriptions of Britain (accessed 20/08/2018) – https://romaninscriptionsofbritain.org/inscriptions/503#RIB

Vanderbilt, S. Roman Inscriptions of Britain (accessed 20/08/2018) – https://romaninscriptionsofbritain.org/inscriptions/538

Vanderbilt, S. Roman Inscriptions of Britain (accessed 18/09/2018) – https://romaninscriptionsofbritain.org/inscriptions/560

Vanderbilt, S. Roman Inscriptions of Britain (accessed 18/09/2018) – https://romaninscriptionsofbritain.org/inscriptions/561

Vanderbilt, S. Roman Inscriptions of Britain (accessed 12/09/2018) – https://romaninscriptionsofbritain.org/inscriptions/562

Vanderbilt, S. Roman Inscriptions of Britain (accessed 12/09/2018) – https://romaninscriptionsofbritain.org/inscriptions/1065