This is the tombstone of Regina ('Queen'), which can today be found in the Roman museum at South Shields. It is conventionally referenced as RIB 1065 add.
Regina is shown seated as a respectable Roman matron. She is wearing jewellery on her neck and wrists. Regina wears a robe over her tunic. In her lap she holds a distaff and spindle. On her left is a box containing her wool. By her right hand stands her jewellery box.
The inscription reads:
'To the spirits of the departed (and) to Regina (his) freedwoman and wife, a Catuvellaunian, aged 30, Barates of Palmyra (set this up)'
Clearly, Barates of Palmyra bought Regina as a slave and freed her to become his wife. Beneath the Latin inscription, you will notice a second script, which is Palmyrene and reads
'Regina, the freedwoman of Barates, alas'
This is clear evidence for multi-culturalism at South Shields, on the edge of the empire, during the Roman period.
Interestingly, we also have Barates' tombstone, from Corbridge (RIB 1171 add). The tombstone is of poor quality and reads:
'To the spirits of the departed, Barates of Palmyra, vexillarius, lived 68 years'
Clearly this is the same individual, demonstrating that he stayed in the North East of England after the death of Regina. The term vexillarius is interesting. Barates was not a military man - there is no sign of an army unit here. Some scholars have suggested that Barates made a living from making/selling army standards - thus explaining his presence near Hadrian's Wall. However, it seems unlikely that there was such a constant demand for new standards that it was possible to make a comfortable living from it. An alternative suggestion is that Barates carried the standard of some sort of trade guild.