Pre Roman Silchester

I’m kind of surprised this hasn’t received a lot more media attention: an ongoing dig at Silchester (ancient Calleva Atrebatum) reveals evidence of a planned city with a possible population of 10,000 or more prior to the arrival of the Romans.

Mike Fulford — who has been digging at the site for years — dixit to the BBC, inter alia:

“After 12 summers of excavation we have reached down to the 1st Century AD and are beginning to see the first signs of what we believe to be the Iron Age and earliest Roman town … The discovery of the underlying Iron Age settlement is extremely exciting … While there are traces of settlement beneath Roman Verulamium (today’s St Albans) and Canterbury and close to the site of Roman Colchester, none of these resembles the evidence that we have here at Calleva of a planned town … We now have evidence that the town was burnt down sometime after AD 50 and before AD 80 … The possibility that this was at the hands of Boudicca when leading the largest British uprising during the Roman occupation is hugely significant. It was not thought the revolt passed this way.”

The BBC coverage below includes a very interesting video from the site as well …

FWIW, I can’t resist including this detail which concludes the Guardian‘s coverage:

Recent finds include skeletons of young dogs with marks of flaying – suggesting that among its many flourishing Iron Age industries, Calleva Attrebatum was the centre of a trade in warm fluffy puppy fur cloaks.

… wasn’t aware there was a market for such; I wonder why they didn’t suggest the dogs were being eaten

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