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Julia Velva, A Roman Lady from York (Hardback)

Her Life and Times Revealed

British History Yorkshire and Humberside Rome Archaeology Social History Women of History England

By Patrick Ottaway
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 336
Illustrations: 100 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781526710970
Published: 31st March 2021

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RRP £30.00

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The tombstone of Julia Velva, one of the best-preserved examples from Roman Britain, was found close to a Roman road just outside the centre 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.

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About Patrick Ottaway

Patrick Ottaway has been an archaeologist for over 40 years, first in Winchester and subsequently in York where he was manager of the fieldwork team at York Archaeological Trust. Latterly he has been a consultant for commercial clients and public bodies on archaeological and cultural heritage matters. He has a doctorate in archaeology at York University, has been a tutor in archaeology for Hull, Leeds and York universities and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He is the author of Roman York (History Press, 2004) and Roman Yorkshire (Blackthorn Press, 2013) as well as numerous academic reports and journal articles.

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