Young ladies with their writing equipment. Indications of literacy in Roman Tomb

Luginbühl, Josy Martina (26 May 2018). Young ladies with their writing equipment. Indications of literacy in Roman Tomb (Unpublished). In: 19. Internationaler Kongress der Klassischen Archäologie. Panel 3.13: The rise of bling: charting the incredible increase in the consumption of decorative metal objects in the Roman Empire. Köln/Bonn. 26. Mai 2018.

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The Romans introduced reading and writing on a larger scale to their provinces, which is recognizable by the increasing numbers of mostly Latin monumental inscriptions, graffiti and legal documents. As the writing equipment is essential to writing, it was distributed similarly to these testimonies. Hence including stili, inkpots and wax-spatulas, which were widely spread throughout the Roman Empire. As grave goods they were found in the sepulchre of children, men in military service or more interestingly of young women who died before marriage. To all of them writing seemed to be important, as they all ran through the Roman system of education. Fortunately this writing gear can be linked through their position in a tomb to a specific person and we are able to draw conclusions about the abilities of the person in question and the spread of literacy throughout the empire and the social hierarchy. Furthermore these writing utensils are an evidence of trade. Especially inkwells in their varied forms and diverse materials can be assigned to a precise place of production and from there retrace their steps to the places they were excavated in the first place. In this paper the beneficiaries of the Roman education system will be traced by a study of the distribution of the utensils in question.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of Archaeological Sciences > Archaeology of the Mediterranean Region

UniBE Contributor:

Luginbühl, Josy Martina


900 History > 930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)




Josy Martina Luginbühl

Date Deposited:

21 Mar 2019 13:21

Last Modified:

21 Mar 2019 13:21

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Roman Archaeology, gender studies, grave archaeology, metal objects, trade, writing equpiment


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