The afterlife of Roman Forts: a case study of the Hadrian’s Wall region

Caygill-Lowery, Laura (2019) The afterlife of Roman Forts: a case study of the Hadrian’s Wall region. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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This project studies the re-use of Roman fortification sites in the Anglo-Scottish border region, from 410 AD to the end of the 18th Century, to critique and identify any patterns for monument re-use. A singular methodology of collection and categorisation of public downloadable data for architectural and artefact evidence for the project region was completed for analysis and discussion. Two buffer zones around the Roman fortifications were created to set boundaries for evidence collection and analysis, 0.25 kilometres for the immediate area of the fortification and 3 kilometres for the proximate area of the fortification. Therefore a distinction could be made as to whether it was the Roman fortification itself which was important, or the landscape location for the monument re-use. The data is reviewed in two chapters; architectural evidence, the siting of fortified dwellings and ecclesiastical sites; and artefact evidence, the siting of find spots, both in relation to the Roman fortifications. The archaeological record and theoretical discussions of the re-use for Roman fortifications displays connections to the Early Medieval Christian church and Norman military tactics. This study revealed a significant concentration of architectural and artefact evidence located within 3 kilometres of many Roman fortifications, with certain time periods having high numbers of statistical evidence and locations having more than one associated piece of evidence. Therefore this project has revealed a High Medieval association with Roman fortification sites for architectural evidence, and artefact evidence for Early Medieval usage of some fortification sites. Therefore the evidence aids the archaeological record in a wider understanding of Roman fortifications heritage and their agency through historic time periods.

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