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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 […]
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.
A figurine thought to be Britain’s only known example depicting the Celtic god Cernunnos has been found during the excavation of a late Iron Age/early Roman settlement in Cambridgeshire.
Recent railway improvements entailed large-scale excavations in the outskirts of Alchester, a Claudian fortress evolving into Oxfordshire’s largest Roman town. Published at impressive speed, this splendid fieldwork monograph presents important new findings for the history of Alchester’s hinterland.
This volume has been 16 years in the making, its origins being found in a regional research framework seminar in 2002. While most of the contributions in the book were presented as papers at that seminar, they are by no means out of date, however, having taken into account, for example, recent excavations and the latest data from the Portable Antiquities Scheme.