Carausius and his brother deities? A unique coin from Lincolnshire

In this post I want to examine a unique find from Lincolnshire – a coin minted by the usurper emperor Carausius featuring an unusual amalgamation of the Olympian gods Jupiter and Neptune. Continue reading


The mystery of the pierced oyster shells

Often the most fascinating archaeological finds aren’t those made of gold or silver, or the thousands of piled coins from a massive hoard, but the simpler items made of basic materials which relate to more everyday activities. While searching through some excavation archives the other day I came across some oyster shells. These are common finds on Roman sites across Britain and wouldn’t normally make me look twice, but these were perforated with regular holes, causing me to consider to what use these remnants of someone’s seafood dinner might have been put. Continue reading

Pursuing the Pomerium: The Ritual and Reality of the Sacred Boundary of Lindum Colonia

This post reproduces a paper of mine published in Volume 49 of the Lincolnshire History  and Archaeology Journal, exploring the ancient archaeological and literary evidence for the existence of sacred boundaries (pomeria) surrounding Roman towns and the possibility of such a boundary being perceived by the citizens of Roman Lincoln. Continue reading

Brooches, buckles and fabric: Two significant new late Roman burials from Lincoln

Excavations at the site of the University Technical College in Lincoln in 2014 by Lincolnshire archaeologists Allen Archaeology uncovered two fascinating and important late Roman burials, the report on which I have just seen and would like to share the details of here. Continue reading

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

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