BRITANNIA 36 2005

A JOURNAL OF ROMANO-BRITISH AND KINDRED STUDIES

(journal to be published in November 2005 and despatched in December)

CONTENTS

 

ARTICLES

David Holman: Iron Age Coinage and Settlement in East Kent, 1-54

John Manley and David Rudkin:  A Pre-a.d. 43 Ditch at Fishbourne Roman Palace, Chichester, 55-99

Eberhard W. Sauer:  Inscriptions from Alchester: Vespasian's Base of the Second Augustan Legion(?), 101-33

M.C. Bishop:  A New Flavian Military Site at Roecliffe, North Yorkshire, 135-223

David Hopewell:  Roman Fort Environs in North-West Wales, 225-69

C.V. Walthew:  Modular Planning in First-Century a.d. Romano-British Auxiliary Forts, 271-310

Sheppard Frere:  The South Gate and Defences of Venta Icenorum: Professor Atkinson's Excavations, 1930 and 1934, 311-27

Anthony King: Animal Remains from Temples in Roman Britain, 329-69

 

NOTES

James Gerrard:  A Possible Late Roman Silver 'Hoard' from Bath, 371-3

Giles Standing:  The Varian Disaster and the Boudiccan Revolt: Fabled Victories?, 373-5

Geoffrey D. Tully:  A Fragment of a Military Diploma for Pannonia Found in Northern England?, 375-82

 

ROMAN BRITAIN IN 2004

 

I Sites Explored, by B.C. Burnham, F. Hunter and A.P. Fitzpatrick, 383-446

II Finds Reported under the Portable Antiquities Scheme, by Sally Worrell, 447-72

III Inscriptions, by R.S.O. Tomlin and M.W.C. Hassall, 473-97

 

REVIEW ARTICLE

 

Simon James:  Limesfreunde in Philadelphia: a Snapshot of the State of Roman Frontier Studies (reviews P. Freeman, J. Bennett, Z.T. Fiema and B. Hoffmann (eds), Limes XVIII: Proceedings of the XVIIIth International Congress of Roman Frontier Studies held in Amman, Jordan (September 2000)), 499-502

 

REVIEWS

 

Reddé, M., and von Schnurbein, S. (eds), Alesia. Fouilles et recherches franco-allemandes sur les travaux militaires romains autour du Mont-Auxois (1991–1997) (by Paul Bidwell), 503-4

Bates, S., and Lyons, A., The Excavation of Romano-British Pottery Kilns at Ellingham, Postwick and Two Mile Bottom, Norfolk, 19957 (by Jane Evans), 504-5

Bedon, R. (ed.), Amoenitas Urbium: les agréments de la vie urbaine en Gaule romaine et dans les régions voisines. Caesarodunum xxxvvi (by Michael J. Jones), 505-6

Beal, J.-C., and Goyon, J.-C. (eds), Les Artisans dans la ville antique (by Michael J. Jones), 505-6

Ballet, P., Cordier, P., and Dieudonné-Glad, N. (eds), .La Ville et ses déchets industriels dans le monde romain. Rébuts et recyclages (by Michael J. Jones), 505-6

Bowman, A.K., and Thomas, J.D., with Pearce, J. The Vindolanda Writing-Tablets (Tabulae Vindolandenses III) (by David J. Breeze), 507-8

Carrington, P. (ed.), Deva Victrix: Roman Chester Re-assessed. Papers from a Weekend Conference held at Chester College 35 September 1999 (by Roger White), 508-9

Cowan, C., Urban Development in North-West Roman Southwark: Excavations 197490 (by Barry C. Burnham), 509-10

Hammer, F. Industry in North-West Southwark: Excavations 19848 (by Barry C. Burnham), 509-10

Deschler-Erb, E. (ed.), Jahresbericht 2001: ROMEC XIII (by Nick Hodgson), 510-11

Goldsworthy, A.K., The Complete Roman Army (by Kate Gilliver), 512-13

Guichard, V., and Perrin, F. (eds), L'aristocratie celte à la fin de l'âge du Fer (du IIe siècle avant J.-C. au Ier siècle après J.-C.) (by J.D. Hill), 513

Haupt, P., Römische Münzhorte des 3.Jhs. in Gallien und den germanischen Provinzen (by Peter Guest), 514-15

Hodgson, N., The Roman Fort at Wallsend (Segedunum). Excavations in 19978 (by Jeffrey L. Davies), 515-16

James, H., Roman Carmarthen: Excavations, 19781993 (by Neil Holbrook), 517

James, S., Excavations at Dura-Europos Conducted by Yale University and the French Academy of Inscriptions and Letters 1928 to 1937. Final Report VII. The Arms and Armour and other Military Equipment (by William Manning), 518-19

Jørgensen, L., Storgaard, B., and Thomsen, L.G. (eds), The Spoils of Victory. The North in the Shadow of the Roman Empire (by Fraser Hunter), 519-20

McCarthy, M., Roman Carlisle and the Lands of the Solway (by Nick Hodgson), 520-1

Price, S., and Kearns, E. (eds), The Oxford Dictionary of Classical Myth and Religion (by Martin Henig), 521-2

Pugsley, P. Roman Domestic Wood: Analysis of the Morphology, Manufacture and Use of Selected Categories of Domestic Wooden Artefacts with Particular Reference to the Material from Roman Britain (by Tim Padley), 522-3

Spickermann, W., Germania Superior (by Malcolm Todd),  524

Stephenson, I.P., and Dixon, K.R., Roman Cavalry Equipment (by Evan Chapman), 524-5

Strickland, T., Roman Middlewich: A Story of Roman and Briton in Mid-Cheshire (by Peter Webster), 525-6


 

BRITANNIA 2005 ABSTRACTS

 

David Holman:  Iron Age Coinage and Settlement in East Kent

 

Since 1991, recording of metal-detector and archaeological finds in east Kent has shown that Iron Age coins are far more numerous than previously thought. Their quantity and distribution suggests widespread use and acceptance. Continental links, suggesting trade activity, are also evident. A number of sites producing large numbers of coins and other evidence of Iron Age (and Roman) occupation have been identified, with chronological and functional differences being apparent. Away from these sites, significant numbers of coins have been recorded from across much of the surrounding area, enabling comparisons to be made between individual sites and the background distribution, leading to a greater understanding of Iron Age coinage and settlement in east Kent.

 

John Manley and David Rudkin:  A Pre-a.d. 43 Ditch at Fishbourne Roman Palace, Chichester

 

This article details the first unambiguous evidence for occupation in the Late Iron Age, dating to around 10 b.c.–a.d. 25, at the site that was to develop into the Roman Palace at Fishbourne (near Chichester, Sussex). The collection of sealed and well-dated imported and local pottery, accompanied by food refuse and a copper-alloy scabbard fitting, suggests significant activity at the site a generation prior to the Roman Conquest of a.d. 43. The material was found in the bottom of a ditch that had been deliberately back-filled. As such this discovery opens a new chapter in the remarkable story of Fishbourne.

 

Eberhard W. Sauer:  Inscriptions from Alchester: Vespasian's Base of the Second Augustan Legion(?)

 

Excavation at Alchester in 2003 revealed an almost complete tombstone of a veteran of the Second Augustan Legion. This provides the first known biography of any person living in pre-medieval Oxfordshire. He is arguably also the earliest legionary veteran attested in Britain. All other tombstones of legionary veterans in Britain come from the main base of their legion or a veterans' colony. Since there is nothing to suggest that Alchester ever became a colony, it must have been the main base of the legio II Augusta and thus Vespasian's base (a case supported by other indications, notably the fortress's foundation date of a.d. 43/44), unless it is the only known exception to the rule.

 

M.C. Bishop:  A New Flavian Military Site at Roecliffe, North Yorkshire

 

Geophysical survey prior to the upgrading to motorway status of the A1 in the vicinity of Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, identified a new Roman castra site with double defensive ditches, a series of outwork defences, and strong indications of extramural activity on both the north and south banks of the river Ure. Excavation permitted the examination of a corridor over 0.5 km long through the extramural settlement. Dating evidence suggested a period of occupation ranging between a.d. 71 and at least the first, and possibly the second, half of the 80s.

 

David Hopewell:  Roman Fort Environs in North-West Wales

 

This paper presents the results of a series of geophysical surveys of Roman forts and their environs carried out by the Gwynedd Archaeological Trust. An almost complete plan of the early wooden fort at Llanfor has been produced. Its densely-packed interior demonstrates heavy garrisoning, probably during very early Flavian campaigning. The small square auxiliary fort of Caer Llugwy has been shown to be a contraction of a larger rectangular fort. Surveys at Pennal, Caer Gai, and Canovium revealed a wide range of extramural development including vici in the form of ribbon development.

 

C.V. Walthew:  Modular Planning in First-Century a.d. Romano-British Auxiliary Forts

 

The traditional view that auxiliary forts were set out in units of five and ten Roman feet (pedes Monetales) has little basis in fact and should be re-assessed. Detailed examination of seven sites (Hod Hill, The Lunt, Pen Llystyn, Strageath, Fendoch, Gellygaer, and Caerhun) shows that fractions and multiples of 12 p.M., possibly derived from the actus, were widely used in their planning, the process becoming more rigorous and precise during the second half of the first century a.d. Close links between the seven plans emerge and the key role played by the principia and barracks in their implementation is highlighted.

 

Sheppard Frere:  The South Gate and Defences of Venta Icenorum: Professor Atkinson's Excavations, 1930 and 1934

 

This paper describes the hitherto unpublished South Gate of the Roman city at Caistor St Edmund, Norfolk, which was excavated by Donald Atkinson in 1934; it discusses the implications both of the adjacent two kinds of external towers and of his trench through the rampart behind the city's north wall, dug in 1930 but not previously published.

 

Anthony King: Animal Remains from Temples in Roman Britain

 

Approximately twenty temple excavations have yielded significant assemblages of animal bones. All come from Romano-Celtic temples in southern Britain, with the exception of four shrines for eastern cults. This paper picks out major characteristics of the assemblages and draws some general conclusions about the nature of the ritual activity that led to their deposition. At temples such as Uley or Hayling, sacrifices were probably an important part of the rituals, and the animals carefully selected. At other temples, animals had a lesser role, with little evidence of selection. At healing shrines, such as Bath and Lydney, animal sacrifices are not clearly attested, and would probably have taken place away from the areas used for healing humans. In contrast to the Romano-Celtic temples, animal remains at the shrines of eastern cults have very different characteristics: individual deposits can be linked to specific rituals within the cult buildings, and have many similarities to the continental evidence

 

James Gerrard:  A Possible Late Roman Silver 'Hoard' from Bath

 

The large group of coins recovered from the springhead in the temple dedicated to Sulis Minerva at Bath is one of the most famous examples of votive deposition from Roman Britain. This note suggests that a number of fourth-century a.d. silver coins (including clipped examples) were deposited together as a group or 'hoard'. This not only has implications for the chronology of ritual activity in the temple, but also adds weight to suggestions that other Late Roman silver and gold hoards may have been ritually deposited.

 

Giles Standing:  The Varian Disaster and the Boudiccan Revolt: Fabled Victories?

 

This short note lends support to the argument proposed by C.J. Simpson in this journal that the statue of Victory at Colchester referred to by Tacitus in the Annales was intended to serve as a literary topos, rather than as a point of architectonic or historical fact. It will be shown that an analogous passage exists, recorded by Cassius Dio in relation to the Varian Disaster, in which a comparable statue of Victory is noted for its unpropitious movement prior to Roman catastrophe. It is concluded that the Colchester Victory cannot be used as evidence for an altar cult at the colony on the model of Lyon.

 

Geoffrey D. Tully:  A Fragment of a Military Diploma for Pannonia Found in Northern England?

 

It has been established that most auxiliary soldiers settled relatively close to their former garrison-locations when discharged from the Roman army, and that only a small percentage of men decided to travel what were sometimes very long distances in order to get back to their homelands. On the evidence available, it had seemed that British auxiliaries did not return home. However, a new fragment of a military diploma for Pannonia, reportedly found in ‘Northern England’, seems to show that the strength of ethnic bonds and family ties did compel at least some Britons to return to hearth and home.