This month marks 40 years since Wessex Archaeology was founded. Milestone birthdays are often a time of reflection as well as celebration, and in this issue we are exploring four of Wessex Archaeology’s recent projects to shed light on widely contrasting aspects of commercial archaeology. At New Covent Garden Market, Battersea, detailed osteological analysis of […]
Rare examples of graffiti, made by the Roman army while they were repairing and rebuilding Hadrian’s Wall, have been recorded in a Cumbrian quarry associated with the monument’s construction. Dating to the early 3rd century AD, these inscriptions have survived for more than 1,800 years, but gradual erosion of the soft sandstone into which they were cut has put them under threat. In an effort to save the graffiti before they are lost, they are being documented by Newcastle University archaeologists in a project funded by Historic England.
Our cover story takes us to the longest archaeological ‘site’ in Britain: the banks of the River Thames. For ten years, Thames Discovery Programme members have been braving all weathers to record the refuse of centuries of Londoners and newly exposed archaeological features before they are swept away by the tidal river’s ebb and flow. […]
The Roman army is a well-studied aspect of the ancient empire it served, and tourists frequently visit the remains of legionary fortresses and auxiliary forts across the former territory of the Roman Empire. Yet the less famous (though equally important) small installations of fortlets and towers are fundamental to understanding how the Roman army functioned, both as a conquering body and as a defensive force. In this work, Symonds offers the first synthetic analysis of these under-appreciated and intriguing outpost structures.
Nick Hodgson Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, £4.99 ISBN 978-0905974964 Review Matthew Symonds If you imagine Hadrian’s Wall, in your mind’s eye you will probably see it majestically crowning precipitous crags. Despite the drama of such a setting, it would be an anomaly. For most of its course, the Wall traverses more moderate terrain. […]
Nick Hodgson Robert Hale, £19.99 ISBN 978-0719818158 Review Matthew Symonds Creating the Hadrian’s Wall National Trail has led to a steady rise in guidebooks catering to walkers following the former frontier, but books providing an authoritative biography of the border works remain rare. The standard undergraduate textbook – and entry point for anyone seriously interested […]
Edited by Adam Parker BAR Publishing, £30.00 ISBN 978-1407315867 Review Edward Biddulph Dr Brian Dobson, who died in 2012, was a colossus in the world of Roman frontier studies. His legacy is evident not only in his extensive bibliography of seminal works, particularly those relating to Hadrian’s Wall, but also in the work of the […]
Alan Rushworth and Alexandra Croom Oxbow Books, £55.00 ISBN 978-1785700262 Review Rob Collins The Roman fort of Segedunum is better known by its modern English place-name, Wallsend, which conveniently holds the subtle clue to the fort’s position – at the eastern terminus of Hadrian’s monumental structure. The late Charles Daniels was provided with the opportunity […]
To step into Harmondsworth Barn is not just to enter a space so glorious that it was lauded as the ‘cathedral of Middlesex’ by Sir John Betjeman. It is also to experience a remarkably intact medieval interior. Among majestic oak trusses are opportunities to admire medieval technology that has weathered the centuries unaltered. After being […]
What were Hadrian’s Wall and the Antonine Wall for, and how did they influence everyday life in their shadow? As questions about modern borders continue to make the headlines, Matthew Symonds investigates Rome’s land frontiers in Britain. Borders are big news at the moment. We all know that a ‘great wall’ is planned along the US […]