Ballista bolts, brooches and pots: early Roman military activity at Lincoln

In a post last month, I wrote about the fascinating discovery of a pair of important new late Roman burials on the hillside just east of Roman Lincoln’s lower enclosure. In that post I briefly mentioned some of the early Roman evidence uncovered during that excavation and said I’d come back to it later. Well, folks, that time is now! Continue reading

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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

Souvenirs from Hadrian’s Wall? Two enamelled copper alloy vessels from North Lincolnshire

Tourism in the ancient world is a fascinating subject, and we should not assume that either the desire or the ability to travel and see the great sites of the world are modern phenomena. Just as today, tourism was accompanied by the acquisition of souvenirs and mementos and it is two potential souvenirs from Hadrian’s Wall that I want to discuss here. Continue reading

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

The Ninth Legion, the Boudican revolt and the founding of the Lincoln fortress

The Ninth Legion occupy a unique place in the mythology of the Roman army, their alleged ‘disappearance’ in the 2nd Century AD the subject of much speculation and some outlandish fiction. One incident earlier in their history, however, recently piqued my interest while preparing for a lecture – the massacre they allegedly suffered during the revolt of the Iceni under Boudica in AD60/61, and in particular how it might have affected the mindset of the legion as it subsequently established its new fortress at Lincoln. Continue reading