Scratched onto a wax layer, the lettering on this early 2nd century wooden writing tablet has survived. It is a deed of sale for a young female slave called Fortunata, described as ‘healthy and not liable to run away’. She cost 600 silver denarii - 2 years’ pay for a legionary soldier.
This gives us a rare glimpse into government staffing methods and the lives of Roman slaves: they could earn money and own slaves themselves. Fortunata was bought by a slave, called Vegetus Montanus, who worked in the treasury and who was, in turn, owned by another treasury slave.