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

The Wilsford hunter god

Although the most famous gods and goddesses of the Roman world are those of the classical pantheon – Jupiter, Minerva, Mercury and such, the average person in Roman Lincolnshire probably called on a host of local deities for help when needed just as much, if not more, than these famous international gods. Although we do of course have evidence for the worship of imported classical gods in Lincolnshire, we have an equal amount of evidence to suggest that localised deities of specific places played just as important a role in the spiritual landscape of the county. Continue reading