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The stone was found in December 2001 by builders who were totally renovating an eighteenth century house in High Street, Caerleon. Situated in what was originally the outside wall of the house it was obscured by a more recent building.

The curatorial officer specialising in the Roman period at the National Museum of Wales has examined the stone and here is a section of his report:

"I am of the opinion that the stone is of Roman date. The stone bears the letters "RVFINI" with the stone broken through the final I. The stone is old red sandstone and is the typical choice of local stone used by the Romans for their monumental masonry in Caerleon. The layers of lime-wash and plaster are a very important part of the object in that they are an aid to authenticating the age of the stone and could even include original Roman material because such stones were almost always plastered over in situ. The inscription "RVFINI" is the Roman personal name Rufinius and it is likely that the stone was what is now termed a 'centurial stone'."


Most of the buildings in Roman Caerleon were constructed by the soldiers themselves. In fact, members of Caerleon's Second Legion Augusta built parts of Hadrian's Wall. The men worked under the leadership of their centurion. Each century (eighty men) was responsible for a different section of a structure. Centurial stones were built into structures to mark the men's labours.

Two other stones had previously been discovered commemorating the work of soldiers under the command of Rufinius. They were both found in the walls of the amphitheatre and are dated to the late 1st century AD. One, pictured below, was more elaborately executed. This was probably produced for (permanent) display. 'Our' stone, however, would have been plastered over. It is possible that it was originally part of the fabric of the amphitheatre, and that, like so much of the stone in Caerleon, it was 'robbed out'.

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