Guernsey as Roman Trading Post

The incipit of an item at the BBC:

A series of finds in 1980s completely changed the perception of the effect the Romans had on Guernsey.

Tanya Walls, La Société Guernesiaise archaeology secretary, said before the finds it had been thought they had little influence.

However, when evidence of settlements, trade and industry came to light it told a different story.

The island became a centre for trade, most obviously shown by the wreck of a Roman trading ship found off Guernsey.

Before the Romans, Guernsey had been well-known as a trading point for wine in the Iron Age as ships made their way north from Bordeaux.

The Romans capitalised on this settling in St Peter Port following their occupation of Gaul (modern day France).

In the 1980s a site was discovered at La Paladerie, in St Peter Port, where Roman artefacts and the remains of buildings were uncovered.

Amongst the items found on the site were locally produced Iron Age pottery alongside the finer type produced in Europe by the Romans and also remains of the household gods found in every Roman home before the empire’s conversion to Christianity.

A few years before this the Asterix, a Gallo-Roman trading vessel, was found in the mouth of the harbour and these two finds combined to show how Guernsey was used as a trading post.

Tanya explained that it is thought the Romans settled in Guernsey shortly after they conquered what is now France, but before they reached England, sometime in the first century BC, and: “Their influence would have been strong for around 300 years.”

Tiles from a Roman building were used in the construction of Castel Church

The idea that there was a Roman settlement in St Peter Port was furthered when the Town Market building was redeveloped in 2000 and a further series of settlements were found.

[…]

via BBC – Guernsey the Roman Empire’s trading post.

We mentioned the plans for the Asterix a few months ago …

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