Roman Britain

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Roman marching camp revealed in Ayr

A previously unknown Roman marching camp has been discovered in Ayr, adding new evidence to our understanding of the Roman conquest of Scotland.

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Roman rabbit discovered at Fishbourne

A chance find made during re-examination of zooarchaeological remains from Fishbourne Roman palace could push back the timeline of the introduction of rabbits to Britain by more than a millennium.

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Review – Durovigutum: Roman Godmanchester

This large, handsome volume, organised into 11 well-crafted chapters and associated appendices, describes the trenching rationale from 25 sites and reveals the former street and building layout of the town, along with a vast artefact assemblage. The systematic and careful editorial not only brings to light an excellent synthesis of the fieldwork but also reveals something of the character of a man who spent 30 years of his life digging this significant Roman site.

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Recording Roman graffiti near Hadrian’s Wall

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.

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Review – Freshwater Fish in England

This book provides an eminently readable overview of freshwater fishing, redressing the focus on sea fishing that has dominated archaeological narratives in recent years. The author is a leading fish-bone specialist, so there is mention of archaeological data, including isotopic analyses of human bones as proxies for diet.

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Roman ruins revealed under the Mercury Theatre

Recent excavations in Colchester, a town renowned for its rich Roman archaeology, have revealed more evidence from this period, spanning from the time of the AD 43 conquest of Britain into the 2nd century and beyond.

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That old chestnut: how sweet chestnuts came to Britain

It has long been thought that sweet chestnut trees were introduced to Britain by the Romans – a belief popularised by 18th-century writers – but new research assessing archaeobotanical samples from this period has now cast doubt on such assumptions.

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Deviant burials discovered near Bury St Edmunds

This month has brought a flurry of Roman news (as you can see on preceding pages), and one more discovery of this period is a 4th-century cemetery from Suffolk that was home to an unusually high number of ‘deviant’ burials.

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Current Archaeology 349

Three of our features this month focus on finds recently declared ‘Treasure’ according to the 1996 Treasure Act – legislation that has helped museums acquire many important artefacts for public display. The Heritage Minister has now proposed a number of revisions to the Act, and has launched a public consultation on them. See p.16 of […]

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Late Iron Age Calleva: the pre-Conquest occupation at Silchester Insula IX

The decades leading up to the Roman conquest of Britain must have been a dynamic and turbulent time, a period of tribal manoeuvrings, with alliances made and loyalties tested in the face of increasing political and material influence from the Continent. From an archaeological perspective, however, the period can be frustratingly bland, with many sites in southern Britain lacking closely dated ceramics, giving only a hedge-betting chronology either side of AD 43. That late Iron Age Calleva presents solid evidence for pre-Conquest occupation, with more than a hint of the political and social complexities, is just one of the aspects that makes this a welcome and exciting volume.

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