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Altar

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from near Carriden, West Lothian

Altar
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This sandstone altar was found near the site of the Roman fort at Carriden in West Lothian. It was dedicated to Jupiter, the father of the gods, and was erected between 140 and 165 AD by villagers living outside the fort.

The inscription on the altar translates as 'To Jupiter Best and Greatest, villagers residing at the fort of Veluniate gladly, willingly and deservedly fulfilled their vow; Aelius Mansuetus saw that the job was carried out.'

The Roman occupation of Scotland was strictly military. Most forts probably had civilian settlements although little is known about them or their inhabitants. This is the only Scottish evidence of an established settlement outside a fort.

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