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Writing tablet

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found at Newstead, Roxburghshire

Writing tablet
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This pine writing tablet was found during excavations at the site of the Roman fort at Newstead in Roxburghshire. It dates from between 80 and 100 AD.

The central area of a sheet of pine has been hollowed out to hold wax on which the message was written using a stylus. When ready for dispatch, pairs of tablets could be tied up like a book.

Brought to Scotland by the Romans, writing was a vital part of the bureaucracy generated by the army. The most common writing materials were wax and wooden tablets inscribed with a stylus, and tablets of thin leaves of wood written with ink.

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