Carved slab

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Found at Bridgeness, West Lothian

Postcard of Carved slab.
© National Museums Scotland

Carved slab

This is a Roman distance slab from the Antonine Wall, erected around AD 142. It was found at Bridgeness in West Lothian, near where the wall meets the Firth of Forth. It is the most elaborate slab known from the wall.

The slab has a central inscription flanked by two scenes. There are five sockets for metal clamps cut in the edges of the slab, which suggests that it was set in a stone frame. It would originally have been painted - some faint traces survive.

This carved slab commemorates building the most eastern part of the Antonine Wall, which cut Scotland in two. Its grand inscription records the army's dedication of the building work to their emperor.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-037-680-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.FV 27
Date: Around 142 AD
Material: Sandstone
Dimensions: 890 mm H x 200 mm L x 2750 mm W
What: Distance slab
Where: Scotland, West Lothian, Bo'ness and Carriden, Bridgeness
Description: Sandstone distance slab with a scene on the right hand side showing the pouring of a libation on an altar as a preliminary to animal sacrifice, from Bridgeness, West Lothian
  • Clarke, D.V., Breeze, D.J., and Mackay, Ghillean. The Romans in Scotland. An introduction to the collections of the National Museums of Antiquities of Scotland. Edinburgh: National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, 1980, pp 14-5. 
  • Phillips, E.J. 'The Roman Distance Slab from Bridgeness' The Proceedings of the Society of Antiquities of Scotland, 105 (1974), pp 176-82 
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