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The unlucky 14
Matt Pickles | 28 Aug 12
A Roman lead tablet has been discovered in an excavation in East Farleigh by the Maidstone Area Archaeological Group.
Dr Roger Tomlin, of Oxford University’s History Faculty and Wolfson College, examined the find and judged that it was made in third century AD. He said: ‘Lists of names are quite often found on lead tablets.
'Sometimes they accompany a complaint of theft addressed to a god, and name persons suspected of the theft. In one case, a tablet found in Germany, the names were explicitly those of enemies.’
14 names are on the tablet, of which six are legible: Sacratus, Constitutus, Constan, Memorianus, Atrectus and Atinedus. Further cleaning and testing could identify the remaining eight names.
Dr Tomlin said: ‘If this is a curse tablet, which it seems to be, it is presumably a product of its local community - so it is a reasonable guess that the persons named on it lived there.’
Top image: Impression of the Romans landing in Britain (public domain); bottom image: East Farleigh lock today, by S tacey Harris