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Fragment of a ceramic amphora

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from Newstead, Roxburghshire

Fragment of a ceramic amphora
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Amphorae are large, distinctive containers, usually pottery, used to transport perishable goods over long distances. This amphora handle was found at Newstead in Roxburghshire. It has a painted inscription which describes the owner.

The inscription reads 'ATTI SECVNDI TR LAGVNVM III' which can be translated as '[Property] of Attius Secundus, tribune; a jar of three modii [26 litres].

Literacy was crucial to Roman supply across the empire. Numeracy was also important - quantities were weighed and measured against common standards. Most Roman soldiers were literate to some degree, and some inscribed their names on belongings.

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