Pugio-a-go-go: A decorated legionary dagger sheath from Lincoln

I often get asked what my favourite Roman artefact from Lincolnshire is. It’s a very difficult question to answer as there are so many wonderful objects and monuments to choose from, all fascinating in their own way. The pugio (dagger) sheath I’d like to discuss in this post, though, would definitely be well up there in my top 10. Although not a new find, it’s an amazing object and well worthy of being known about more widely. Continue reading

Roman stone floor unearthed at Lincoln’s Eastern Bypass excavations

The ongoing excavations at Lincoln’s Eastern Bypass have produced some incredible multi-period archaeology. I have discussed some of the Romano-British findings in various earlier posts (see below), but the excavations continue to reveal more of the Roman structures and activity. The latest update from the site is of the discovery of an impressive stone floor surface. Continue reading

Outsiders and executions? An important new Roman cemetery near Sleaford

Roman burials in Lincolnshire have been a source of immense interest in recent years (see my post on some previous discoveries here) and the trend looks to continue with news of a fascinating burial group excavated by local archaeologists Allen Archaeology in 2012, the report of which I have just seen. Continue reading

New funding for late Roman pottery studies in Northeast Lincolnshire

The Roman Research Trust has announced that it has awarded a grant to Dr Steven Willis of the University of Kent to support research into late Roman pottery excavated in Northeast Lincolnshire. You can read a press release on it here, where Dr Willis explains the significance of the pottery for understanding the late Roman economy in the area, traditionally thought to have been greatly affected by seaborne raiding. He believes that the ceramic evidence will demonstrate that, on the contrary, something of an economic boom can be demonstrated. The results of the work will be extremely interesting for our wider understanding of the processes affecting daily life at the end of the Roman period. Continue reading

An unusual ceramic mould from Lincoln’s forum colonnade

The discovery of the eastern colonnade of Lincoln’s forum in 1878 still ranks as one of the most important archaeological finds in the city’s history. When George Allis began digging the foundations of a new house on Bailgate in late April 1878, he could little have suspected that he would soon be discovering the base of a large, sandstone Roman column, or that further work would eventually lead to an entire colonnade of 19 such columns, subsequently to be understood as the eastern edge of the town’s forum. This dramatic discovery is worthy of a blog post in itself at some point in the future (I use a photograph of it as the header image for this blog), but here I want to focus on just one rather unusual object discovered during the excavations – a ceramic mould depicting a side-on female portrait. Continue reading

A previously unidentified Roman miniature votive shield

Some archaeological finds are instantly recognised for what they are, but others can remain a mystery for decades, waiting for their true identity to be revealed. I recently came across just such an object in the Lincoln museum stores. Described simply as a ‘bronze decorated sheet’, I believe that it is a much more fascinating object than that – a hitherto unidentified example of a late Iron Age or early Romano-British miniature votive shield. Continue reading

Animal print tiles at Lincoln’s Eastern Bypass excavations

The excavations at Washingborough currently taking place as part of the construction of Lincoln’s eastern bypass have most definitely captured people’s imagination, and with good reason as the results are proving fascinating (see my earlier posts here and here). As part of the publicity surrounding the project, a ‘find of the week’ is being chosen by the excavators and published in the Lincolnshire Echo. This week’s highlight is a Roman object, in the form of a roof tile complete with a perfect paw print. Continue reading