Friday, 30 January 2009
Romans in Durham
I've tended not to blog about my research much. However, I thought would write a little about a major new project I'm closely involved with which looks like it might be playing a big part in my life for the next five years.
I am part of a team from the Department of Archaeology at Durham University and the Department of Classics, Stanford University, planning a major campaign of excavation on the Roman fort at Binchester (Co. Durham). We are going to be carryig out six weeks of fieldwork at the site each year between 2009 and 2014. We are also going to be putting in place a wide range of more non-intrusive strategies (field walking; shovel pitting; geophysical survey; LIDAR etc) which hopes to locate the fort in its landscape context.
Those of you who know me will be aware that I am not particularly a Romanist (though I have published on Roman material); my heart is really in the early medieval period with a focus on the spread of Christianity. Luckily, Binchester, as well as being a key Roman military installation on the main road between York and Hadrian's Wall, has also produced significant evidence for the continuation of activity well into the fifth and probably even the sixth century, and went to become a centre of one of the estates owned by the Community of St Cuthbert at Durham.
The project will have its own blog at some point, and I'll probably put updates on here as well. It's only just dawning on me what a major undertaking this is going to be!