A rare example of painted Latin writing from Greetwell villa

The majority of the Latin encountered in Romano-British archaeology is in the form of formal inscriptions on stone – building dedications, tombstones, altars and such. Other writing survives on small finds, such as potters’ names stamped on vessels, personal names scratched onto metal objects or ceramics or as prayers or curses written on metal sheets. Very rarely, wooden writing tablets sometimes survive, such as the famous assemblage from Vindolanda and the increasing number known from London. One other category of writing, but not a common one, is messages written on painted plaster walls. Continue reading

The Ninth Legion, the Boudican revolt and the founding of the Lincoln fortress

The Ninth Legion occupy a unique place in the mythology of the Roman army, their alleged ‘disappearance’ in the 2nd Century AD the subject of much speculation and some outlandish fiction. One incident earlier in their history, however, recently piqued my interest while preparing for a lecture – the massacre they allegedly suffered during the revolt of the Iceni under Boudica in AD60/61, and in particular how it might have affected the mindset of the legion as it subsequently established its new fortress at Lincoln. Continue reading

Tales of Lindum Colonia – the final chapter

I am pleased to announce the third and concluding part of my little trilogy of short stories set in Roman Lincoln. Entitled ‘A tale of love and retribution’, it brings the story of Caradoc the smith to a conclusion and sees our hero having to tackle a new and dastardly plot that threatens the entire population of Lindum.

Both this story and the previous two (‘a tale of lions and thieves’ and ‘a tale of fate and grain’) can be directly downloaded as a single PDF of the complete trilogy,using the link below and, from my Tales of Lindum Colonia page, which says a little more about the stories.

The stories have been a lot of fun to write, and have actually helped me to visualise how Roman Lincoln may have appeared and functioned. Although of course I make no claims to absolute accuracy, I hope the stories balance authenticity with being a bit of fun. Enjoy!

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Media coverage of the Lincoln Eastern bypass excavations

I posted a little piece a few weeks ago on the discoveries at the ongoing excavations for Lincoln’s new Eastern bypass (read it here). I don’t remember noticing the local media covering it at the time, but it seems they have just caught on, so I thought I’d post links to their online articles here. Continue reading

Some images from the Grantham Southern Relief Road excavations

I uploaded a post a few days ago about the excavations for Grantham’s Southern Relief Road (read that here), but some new images from the excavation have emerged in the Grantham Journal newspaper (see them here), so I thought I’d add them here too. Continue reading