Cramond lioness

Contributed by National Museums Scotland

A Roman sandstone lioness found in a river at Cramond, near Edinburgh, in 1997, having lain there for 1800 years.

This imposing stone monument is probably a memorial for a high-ranking Roman officer. The scuplture expresses the widespread symbolism of death and dipicts a lioness devouring a naked bearded man.

In Roman times, death was not simply a matter of disposing of the body - it was a very important social occasion at which the living affirmed their relationships with the deceased and each other. Funery rites at various times and in various ways marked aspects of the dead person's identity.

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Cramond, Edinburgh

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