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Archaeology & History

Mystery surrounds rare Roman tombstone

By T.K. Randall
May 31, 2015 · Comment icon 8 comments

The stone was found during an archaeological dig. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Tommy Sea
New research has revealed that the stone's inscription does not relate to the person buried beneath it.
Discovered earlier this year during an archaeological dig in Cirencester, England, the 1,800-year-old Roman tombstone bears the inscription "D.M. BODICACIA CONIUNX VIXIT ANNO S XXVII", which is thought to mean "To the shades of the underworld, Bodicacia, spouse, lived 27 years."

Made from Cotswold limestone, the slab was found lying on its front in the grave with an adult skeleton buried beneath it. An analysis of the remains however has since revealed that this person was actually male and not female as suggested by the inscription on the stone.

Researchers now believe that the grave and the skeleton were laid there at different times.
"We believe the tombstone to have been re-used as a grave cover perhaps as long as two centuries after it was first erected," said archaeologist Ed McSloy.

The fact that the back of the tombstone appears to be roughly worked and unfinished also suggests that it was once set in to a wall, possibly as part of a mausoleum.

Who the grave originally belonged to however continues to remain a mystery.

Source: Discovery News | Comments (8)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Leonardo 9 years ago
Why presume a 'spouse' had to be of the opposite sex? Maybe 'Bodicacia' was transsexual?
Comment icon #2 Posted by odiesbsc 9 years ago
Why presume a 'spouse' had to be of the opposite sex? Maybe 'Bodicacia' was transsexual? Or perhaps a woman.
Comment icon #3 Posted by pallidin 9 years ago
Good points. "Spouse" is not gender specific.
Comment icon #4 Posted by TheSpoonyOne 9 years ago
I'm not understanding what the mystery is? "Spouse" in English means either husband or wife. It stems from "Spondere" which in Latin apparently means "betroth", so unless the word in Latin on this epitaph had a female specific conotation, I don't see what the question is? Unless the archaeologists are erroneously thinking "spouse" is female specific? One of those words people often assume means one thing when it actually means something more?
Comment icon #5 Posted by ShadowSot 9 years ago
Ir it cod be editorialized to get you to read the article.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Oops Monkey 9 years ago
This article is stupid.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Robert1 9 years ago
This article is stupid. I agree. It does seem quite pointless.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Zalmoxis 9 years ago
It may not be true. If the tombstone is genuine then perhaps they buried the wrong bloak.

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