Books
Patrick Ottaway

Julia Velva, A Roman Lady from York

The tombstone of Julia Velva, one of the best-preserved examples from Roman Britain, was found close to a Roman road just outside the center of York. Fifty years old when she died in the early third century, Julia Velva was probably from a wealthy family able to afford a fine monument. Patrick Ottaway uses the tombstone as the starting point to investigate what the world she lived in was like.
Drawing on the latest archaeological discoveries and scientific techniques, the author describes the development of Roman York’s legionary fortress, civilian town and surrounding landscape. He also looks at manufacturing and trade, and considers the structure of local society along with the latest analytical evidence for people of different ethnic backgrounds. Aspects of daily life discussed include literacy, costume, cosmetics and diet. There are also chapters dedicated to the abundant York evidence for religion and burial customs. This book presents a picture of what one would have found on the edge of a great Empire at a time when York itself was at the height of its importance. Illustrated with dozens of photographs, specially prepared plans and illustrations, this is an excellent study of one of Roman Britain’s most important places.
550 printed pages
Original publication
2021

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