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Secrets Of Caistor Roman Town (Venta Icenorum)

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Author Topic: Secrets Of Caistor Roman Town (Venta Icenorum)  (Read 801 times)
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« on: July 02, 2009, 08:36:24 am »

Discoveries from the age of Boudica?

Caistor lies in the territory of the Iceni, the tribe of Boudica who famously rebelled against Roman rule in AD 60/61. The survey revealed numerous circular features that apparently predate the Roman town.

These are probably of prehistoric date, and suggest that Caistor was the site of a large settlement before the Roman town was built. This has always been suspected because of numerous chance finds of late Iron Age coins and metalwork, but there has never been any evidence of buildings until now.

Now the burning questions are: was Caistor built on the site of an Iceni stronghold as retribution after Boudica's rebellion, or was it built to favour a faction of the Iceni who had not taken part in the revolt?

The end of a Roman town?

Life at Roman Caistor was thought to have ended in the 5th century AD, when Britain was abandoned by the emperor of the struggling Western Roman Empire.

However, the new survey clearly shows a large ditched enclosure that cuts the surface of the Roman street in the north-west corner of the site. Possible structures are visible within this enclosure.

The earlier discovery of middle Saxon coins and metalwork outside the west wall of the site, combined with the presence of two early Saxon cemeteries in the vicinity suggests that these enclosures may be associated with continued life in the town after the Roman period.

The new research has demonstrated that Caistor is a site of international importance.

Rather than simply being a provincial Roman town, Caistor may represent the development of a major settlement from the Iron Age until the 9th century AD. Crucially, however, the site was ultimately superseded by medieval Norwich and reverted to green fields.

This is quite unlike other Roman towns that have the same long occupation sequence which now lie buried beneath the modern towns of Britain and Europe.

This fortunate change of settlement location means that these same green fields at Caistor are a unique time-capsule that could give us vital clues to the complex processes through which our towns and cities developed. Funding is now being sought to test the results of the survey through excavation.


Adapted from materials provided by University of Nottingham. Original article written by Dr. Will Bowden, researcher.
Email or share this story:| More Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats:

 MLA University of Nottingham (2007, December 21). Stunning Survey Unveils New Secrets Of Caistor Roman Town. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 2, 2009, from /releases/2007/12/071213101359.htm
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