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Historic England Research Records

South Shields Roman Cemetery

Hob Uid: 26405
Location :
South Tyneside
South Tyneside
South Shields
Grid Ref : NZ3649067550
Summary : The Roman cemetery at the Lawe was presumably the South Shields fort burial ground. Inhumations and cremations have been found here as well as inscribed gravestones. Tombstone 22 x 22 in. D(is) M(anibus) s(acrum)/Au[...]dus/ uix[it] anno(s)/VIIII menses VIIII/L(ucius) Arruntius Sal/ uianus filio/b(ene merenti) piissimo. 'Sacred to the spirits of the departed: Au[...]dus lived 9 years, 9 months; Lucius Arruntius Salvianus (set this up) to his deserving and most devoted son'. Part of tombstone 19in x 28 in. D(is) M(anibus)/Iul[... 'To the spirits of the departed...' Tombstone 23in x 40in with die 21in x 7in of which the gable was found in 1881 in Cleveland Street and the rest in 1885 about 100 yards away at the junction of James Mather Street and Cleveland Street, South Shields. D(is) M(anibus) Victoris natione Maurum/[a]nnorum XX libertus Numeriani/ [e]q(u)itis I Asturum qui/piantissime pr[ose]qu(u)tus est. 'To the spirits of the departed (and) of Victor, a Moorish tribesman, aged 20, freedman of Numerianus, trooper of the First Cavalry Regiment of Asturians, who most devotedly conducted him to the tomb'. Tombstone 28in x 44in with die 28in x 7 in; now in four fragments. D(is) M(anibus) Regina liberta et coniuge/Barates Palmyrenus natione/Catuallauna an(norum) XXX. 'To the spirits of the departed (and to) Regina, his freedwoman and wife, a Catuvellaunian by tribe, aged 30, Barates of Palmyra (set this up)'; all are in South Shields Museum. Excavations in 1993-4 uncovered more inhumations and cremations. The cemetery continued in use until the 4th century AD and its distance from the fort in this period suggests that the vicus did not contract in size as happened on other sites. Grave-goods included a jet distaff and spindle whorl, a shale bracelet and a glass bead necklace.
More information : (NZ 36496755) Site of Roman burial ground (R) (1)

The burial ground at the Lawe lies 200 or 300 yards SW of the fort (NZ 36 NE 4) and is traversed by Bath Street. Urns containing calcined bones have been found and also numerous graves. (2)

1062. Tombstone 22 x 22 in, found in 1881 SW of the fort of South Shields. Now in South Shields Museum. Drawn by RGC 1936.
D(is) M(anibus) s(acrum)
Au[...]dus
uix[it] anno(s)
VIIII menses VIIII
L(ucius) Arruntius Sal
uianus filio
b(ene merenti) piissimo
'sacred to the spirits of the departed: Au[...]dus lived 9 years, 9 months; Lucius Arruntius Salvianus (set this up) to his deserving and most devoted son'.
1063 Part of tombstone 19in x 28 in found in 1876 in Bath Street 350 yards S of the SW angle of South Shields fort. Now in South Shields Museum. Drawn by RGC 1936.
D(is) M(anibus)
Iul[...
'To the spirits of the departed...'
1064 Pl XIV Tombstone 23in x 40in with die 21in x 7in of which the gable was found in 1881 in Cleveland Street and the rest in 1885 about 100 yards away at the junction of James Mather Street and Cleveland Street, South Shields. Two fluted pilasters support a pediment carrying in the centre a lion's head with a ring in its mouth; in either spandrel is a bust with features now worn away. The deceased, in tunic and long robe draped in folds over his left shoulder terminating in a tassel, reclines on a mattress placed on a couch with baluster legs; in his right hand he holds a bunch of leaves, in his left a cup, and rests his left elbow on a cushion. Below the couch stands a boy (with face now broken off) wearing a tunic and holding up a vessel towards his master. In front of him on the ground stands a vessel with two handles. The field behind the figure and in the gable is filled with scroll-work. Now in South Shields Museum. Drawn by RGC 1936.
D(is) M(anibus) Victoris natione Maurum
[a]nnorum XX libertus Numeriani
[e]q(u)itis I Asturum qui
piantissime pr[ose]qu(u)tus est
'To the spirits of the departed (and) of Victor, a Moorish tribesman, aged 20, freedman of Numerianus, trooper of the First Cavalry Regiment of Asturians, who most devotedly conducted him to the tomb'.
1065 Pl XV Tombstone 28in x 44in with die 28in x 7in found in 1878 S of Bath Street, to SW of the fort of South Shields; now in four fragments. In a gabled niche framed by two pilasters the deceased sits facing front in a wicker chair. She wears a long-sleeved robe over her tunic, which reaches to her feet. Round her neck is a necklace of cable pattern and on her wrists similar bracelets. On her lap she holds a distaff and spindle, while at her left side is her work-basket with balls of wool. With her right hand she holds open her unlocked jewellery-box. Her head is surrounded by a large nimbus, but the whole face has been hacked off. Drawn by RGC 1936.
D(is) M(anibus) Regina liberta et coniuge
Barates Palmyrenus natione
Catuallauna an(norum) XXX
'To the spirits of the departed (and to) Regina, his freedwoman and wife, a Catuvellaunian by tribe, aged 30, Barates of Palmyra (set this up)'. (3)

NZ 36 66. South Shields.
Reference is made to various Roman artefacts found in the vicinity of the burial ground (3a).

Additional references. (4-6)

Located on the English Heritage map of Hadrian's Wall 2010. (7)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 1:500 1896
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Archaeologia Aeliana : or miscellaneous tracts relating to antiquity
Source details : (R C Bruce)
Page(s) : 239-45
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 10, 1885
Source Number : 3
Source : The Roman inscriptions of Britain, 1. Inscriptions on stone
Source details :
Page(s) : 354-6
Figs. :
Plates : XIV, XV
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3a
Source : Corpus Signorum Imperii Romani. Great Britain, vol.1, fasc.1 : Corbridge, Hadrian's Wall east of the North Tyne
Source details :
Page(s) : 66, 85, 90-3, 102-3, 114, 118
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Rural settlement in the Roman north
Source details :
Page(s) : 125
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Archaeologia Aeliana : or miscellaneous tracts relating to antiquity
Source details : (M E Snape)
Page(s) : 43-66
Figs. : 01-Sep
Plates :
Vol(s) : 22, 1994
Source Number : 6
Source : Archaeologia Aeliana : or miscellaneous tracts relating to antiquity
Source details : (M E Snape)
Page(s) : 312-14
Figs. : 2
Plates :
Vol(s) : 23, 1995
Source Number : 7
Source : An Archaeological Map of Hadrian's Wall, 1:25,000 scale
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Cemetery, Cremation, Inhumation, Gravestone
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Find

Components and Objects:
Period : Roman
Component Monument Type : Cemetery, Cremation, Inhumation, Gravestone
Object Type : BRACELET, NECKLACE, BEAD, SPINDLE WHORL, DISTAFF
Object Material : Shale, Glass, Jet

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Roman Inscriptions of Britain (RIB)
External Cross Reference Number : 1062
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Roman Inscriptions of Britain (RIB)
External Cross Reference Number : 1063
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Roman Inscriptions of Britain (RIB)
External Cross Reference Number : 1064
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Roman Inscriptions of Britain (RIB)
External Cross Reference Number : 1065
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NZ 36 NE 5
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 26499
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 26402
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : SE OF MORTON WALK
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1983-01-01
End Date : 1983-12-31
Associated Activities : MORTON WALK PLAYGROUND
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31