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

From Lindum to the empire: two Lincoln-born Roman soldiers

Echoing modern political debate in Britain, studies of the population of Roman Britain have often been preoccupied with the quantity and ethnic identity of immigrants coming into the province. People have debated what the balance of ‘Roman’ and ‘native’ might have been in both rural and urban areas (though those terms are very difficult ones, hence the inverted commas), through studies of classical literature, comparative studies with other provinces, tombstones and, as scientific analyses have become available, studies of the bodies of the people themselves. Continue reading

Roman Lincolnshire in the British Museum

The British Museum contains a number of Romano-British objects discovered in Lincolnshire. Some of these form an important part of the museum’s Roman Britain galleries and have been included in various publications, but others are generally less well known. This post aims to briefly highlight some of the more significant and interesting of these objects. Continue reading