Author: Lucia Marchini

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Letters from Londinium

Reading the earliest writing from Roman Britain Among the remarkable artefacts recovered by MOLA archaeologists on the site of the new Bloomberg headquarters in London were 405 writing tablets. Of these, 87 have now been deciphered, providing a tantalising insight into the lives and legal wrangling of the first Londoners. Roger Tomlin and Sophie Jackson […]

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Current Archaeology 317

The early years of London seem both uncannily familiar and unimaginably distant. Today, no one would bat an eyelid at Tacitus’ description of a settlement heaving with ‘businessmen and commerce’. Accounts of reckless loans, eye-watering debt, and advice to maintain a stiff upper lip (or at least ‘not to appear shabby’) in the face of adversity reinforce a sense that some […]

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Interview: John Reid talks about bullets and Burnswark on BBC Radio 4

Listen to John Reid, author of our cover feature Bullets, ballistas and Burnswark, discuss his research at Burnswark Hill on Radio 4’s Today (2 June 2016). The hill in Dumfriesshire is home to a 17-acre native hillfort held in a vice-like grip by two Roman camps. This configuration of Roman camps straddling a hillfort is unique in Britain, and attempts to […]

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Current Archaeology 316

The true nature of the events that played out at Burnswark in the 2nd century AD has long excited speculation. Two Roman camps were aggressively positioned to hold a former native hillfort in a vice-like grip, but does this dramatic arrangement testify to a desperate siege, or a rigorous military training regime? Now an ingenious new approach to studying the […]

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Bullets, ballistas, and Burnswark

A Roman assault on a hillfort in Scotland The ancient author Josephus once observed of the Roman military that ‘their training manoeuvres are battles without bloodshed, and their battles manoeuvres with bloodshed’. The difficulty in distinguishing between these states is well illustrated by the residue from a Roman artillery barrage at Burnswark. Were they aiming […]

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Bathing at Binchester: creature comforts in the military north

  The two bath suites at Binchester Roman fort were discovered almost 200 years apart. But while the first was found when a horse and cart pitched into a cavity, the second emerged during a major campaign of excavations. David Mason is our guide to the results, and the bathing facilities on offer at a […]

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Current Archaeology 315

A recent excavation campaign at Binchester Roman fort concluded with a spectacular discovery. A trench revealed part of a bathhouse that may be one of the best-preserved structures surviving from Roman Britain. Traces of garish frescoes still cling to walls standing above head height, which bear witness to refurbishments that kept pace with the garrison’s demand for creature comforts. We […]

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Culver Archaeological Project

The Culver Archaeological Project involves the local community, students and volunteers in the investigation of the historic environment under the supervision of the founding director Rob Wallace, and deputy David Millum. The current excavations are at Bridge Farm, a Romano-British settlement, discovered in 2011, with evidence of activity from late 1st to late 4th century […]

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Liss Archaeology

Liss Archaeology’s objective is to investigate the archaeological heritage of the local area. They also want to encourage and involve local people to learn about their local history by having hands on experience of various aspects of archaeology. We produce reports on our excavations and on the other activities of the group There are at least two digs a […]

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Doggerland rises: exploring lands and livelihoods lost under the North Sea

The dramatic impact of flooding on modern British communities was all too clear at the start of this year. But how did our prehistoric predecessors respond to the inundations that transformed their surroundings and drove them from their homes at the end of the last Ice Age? Jim Leary reports. The recent flood of desperate […]

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