Martin J Deane
Enfield Archaeological Society, £30
Review Edward Biddulph
Think of Roman Britain and Enfield does not immediately come to mind as a key site. Excavations in the modern borough since 1966 by the Enfield Archaeological Society have, however, revealed traces of a roadside settlement that might have been the first stopping point for travellers heading north from Londinium along Ermine Street. The question of settlement function remains an open one (a station for the cursus publicus and/or a redistribution centre for agricultural produce are suggested), but there is no doubt that a well-connected settlement flourished here between the late 1st and 3rd centuries, with exotic material culture to match.
The report is largely based on the old archives of keyhole interventions, and it is difficult to get a sense of the layout and morphology of the settlement. It is a pity, too, that, with the loss of finds over time, some of the artefact reports could not be updated to modern standards. The author is, however, to be congratulated for bringing the records together in an attractive volume and advancing our knowledge of London’s hinterland.
This review appeared in CA 335.