Baking, boating or cheese making? A unique wooden paddle from Lincoln’s Roman waterfront

Some of the most fascinating excavations of Roman Lincoln have taken place around the Brayford Pool and River Witham. A series of investigations in the late 1980s revealed much evidence for the structure of the Roman waterfront and the activities that occurred there, including the dumping of rubbish. The anaerobic conditions led to the discovery of some of the greatest concentrations of surviving organic material from the city, but sadly the excavations have never been fully published and remain rather unknown. This post will look at one object from those waterfront excavations – a unique wooden ‘paddle’, the original function of which remains obscure. Continue reading

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The tombstone of Lincoln’s ‘jet necklace’ lady

The tombstones of numerous residents of Roman Lincoln have been discovered through the years, providing a fascinating, if fragmentary, insight into the city’s occupants – or at least those who could afford such grand funerary monuments. One tombstone appears to not be very well known and, as it will soon be going on display at The Collection museum for the first time in many decades, is worthy of highlighting here. Continue reading

Portable healing? Snake jewellery in Roman Lincolnshire

Items of jewellery represent some of the most attractive finds from Roman Britain, and the wide variety of forms of brooches, rings and bracelets can tell us much about changing fashions and clothing styles. Some jewellery, however, is more than simply practical or decorative, and it is one such form that I wish to look at the Lincolnshire evidence for here – the fascinating phenomenon of finger rings and bracelets bearing snake imagery. Continue reading

The possible Roman vineyard at North Thoresby

The possibility of the discovery of Roman vine cultivation at the Eastern Bypass excavations, combined with a brief conversation on twitter with Dr Eleanor Scott and Dr Caitlin Green, made me think it was worth taking a quick look here at the other suggested evidence of a vineyard in Lincolnshire, at North Thoresby. Continue reading

The Horkstow chariot mosaic: sporting depiction or allegory of fate?

I’ve mentioned the large and wonderful mosaic pavement from the Horkstow villa a couple of times in recent posts, but it seems remiss of me not to have discussed its best known and most significant element – the depiction of a dramatic chariot race, unique in Britain. Continue reading

A previously unidentified giant from Roman Lincolnshire

No, this isn’t a post about very tall people, but about mythological giants – the race of creatures in Greek and Roman mythology who played an important role in the story of the establishment of the Olympian pantheon. They are not commonly encountered in a Romano-British context, but are depicted on one of Lincolnshire finest mosaics and on a previously unidentified copper alloy statuette which I believe also represents a giant. Continue reading

Worshipping the party god – evidence of Bacchus in Lincolnshire

I posted a little while ago about a candlestick find from Branston with possible connections to the god Bacchus, and I want to follow up on that subject here by looking at the other artefacts from Roman Lincolnshire with connections to the Roman god of wine and revelry. Continue reading