Visiting any of the great national museums on the Continent (even the regional and local ones, come to that), students of Roman Britain could be forgiven for walking about the galleries filled floor to ceiling with altars, tombstones, and public inscriptions awestruck, but also a little downcast. What has Britain got to compare with it?
Over 4,500 years ago, the Bell Beaker phenomenon swept across much of Europe. The resulting changes to burial practices and technology are clear in the archaeological record, but the origins of these ideas were obscure. Now ancient DNA analysis has revolutionised this picture –and revealed that the impact on the make-up of Britain’s population was […]
Vindolanda, the Roman auxiliary fort just south of Hadrian’s Wall, is known for its treasure trove of well-preserved Roman archaeology, and this past excavation season has proved to be one of the most successful yet. The team has been excavating a pre-Hadrianic cavalry barracks, where they uncovered finds including complete swords, copper-alloy horse gear, leather shoes, bath clogs, combs, dice, and a small hoard of wafer-thin writing tablets, many of which bore fine examples of ancient cursive script (see CA 330).
How do we rate the Emperor Trajan? Trajan is something of an in-between emperor, coming after a bad Emperor, Domitian, followed by a weak Emperor, Nerva, but being followed by the three great emperors who form the apex of the Roman Empire in the second century – Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. Does Trajan […]
The long-running excavations at Vindolanda, a Roman auxiliary fort just south of Hadrian’s Wall, have uncovered an apparently hastily abandoned cavalry barracks containing a wealth of finds, from weapons to personal items. The Vindolanda Trust-led investigations had opened test-pits beneath the stone foundations of the last stone fortress, revealing anaerobic layers dating from c.AD 120, […]
Our cover story examines an unsuspected crypt discovered in a former church during redevelopment work. Although the space was too dangerous to enter, ingenious remote survey revealed that the crypt still contains numerous coffins, including at least two Archbishops of Canterbury. It is caverns rather than crypts that have surrendered the secrets of the humans […]
A new cache of well-preserved Roman writing tablets, some of whose contents have already been deciphered, has been discovered at the Roman fort of Vindolanda.