READING THE WRITING ON THE WALL: DISCOVERING NEW DIMENSIONS TO THE ANTONINE WALL DISTANCE STONES
This paper explores new approaches to epigraphic evidence from the Antonine Wall that, in some respects, depart significantly from perceived wisdom. Addressing the inscriptions from alternative perspectives and incorporating attribute analysis, material mapping and a review of historical sources has revealed previously unexplored dimensions to a significant category of inscriptions here referred to as Distance Stones. The results cast new light onto these enigmatic ancient artefacts, exposing potential inconsistencies relating to units of measure and challenging hypotheses that have endured for more than two centuries. Critical review has uncovered patterns of difference and similarities that alter our perception of these unique frontier sculptures and lend credence to the proposal that they may have originally been placed, not along the Wall as has been traditionally accepted, but along the Military Way where passers-by could more meaningfully engage with them.
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