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

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

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

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

Roman archaeology at Grantham’s Southern Relief Road

Road projects and Roman archaeology have been going hand in hand in Lincolnshire recently, first with news of major and ongoing discoveries at Washingborough as part of Lincoln’s new bypass (see my post on those here), and now a new press release (viewable here)  is telling us a little of the discoveries being made during excavations as part of Grantham’s Southern Relief Road. Continue reading

Damned memory? Evidence for imperial statuary from Lincoln

Lincoln does not, on current evidence, have the direct connections with Roman imperial power that some other Romano-British towns do. For example, Colchester saw the arrival of Claudius (AD41-54), and York as the northern legionary base has links with Septimius Severus (AD193-211) and Constantine I (AD306-337). Lincoln, does, however, have an interesting body of evidence for public statuary which may well be imperial in nature, some of which has come from very recent finds. Evidence of such statuary is particularly rare in Britain, not least because statues depicting emperors, gods and prominent citizens are most likely to have been in bronze, rather than marble, and therefore very easily recycled. Continue reading