Sunday, September 02, 2012

Roman 'curse tablet' found in Kent

If you were called Sacratus, Constitutus or Memorianus, and had some bad luck in Roman Kent, archaeologists may have discovered why.

A "curse tablet" made of lead and buried in a Roman farmstead has been unearthed in East Farleigh.

Inscribed in capital letters are the names of 14 people, which experts believe were intended to have bad spells cast upon them.

The tablet is being examined by a specialist from Oxford University.

It was discovered by the Maidstone Area Archaeological Group during a dig and has undergone a detailed series of tests.

Measuring 6cm (2.3in) by 10cm (3.9in) and 1mm thick, the tablet is extremely fragile.

Experts believe it would have been used by Romans to cast spells on people accused of theft and other misdeeds.

The tablets, which have been found throughout Europe, were rolled up to conceal their inscriptions, then hidden in places considered to be close to the underworld, such as graves, springs or wells.

Via http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-19267181