current archaeology

Number 41

In this issue . . .

Caesaromagus is the only town in Roman Britain to bear the imperial prefix. It should therefore be a town of major importance: it is in fact the minor settlement of Chelmsford. Why? In this issue we see how the recent excavations by Paul Drury have attempted to solve this problem.

Firstly we look at the Roman temple, perhaps the only example in Britain of a religious site that can be traced right through from the darkness of prehistory down into the fifth century when i t was demolished, and the stones carted away (to build a Christian church?)

We then go to the main building of the town , the mansio or inn, wit h its mysterious early predecessor. Then we look at the defences of the town , and study not only what happened at the time of Boudicca, but perhaps even more important, what happened at the end of the second century.

We are now in a position to return to the original problem of the rise and fall of Caesaromagus, and to trace its subsequent history. Finally, after its desertion in the Dark Ages we see the foundation of the new town in 1201, and look at the archaeological evidence for its early years.

'Phase 1 is the excavation, phase 2 is the report, and phase 3 is the reconstruction' quotes Alan Sorrell in 'The Artist and Reconstruction'. For too long archaeological reconstruction has been in the doldrums, but it is now once again in fashion. Alan Sorrell, who has long been known as our leading archaeological artist, considers what artists have thought of reconstruction in the past, and how he sets about his reconstruction drawings today.

In Books we discuss The Regni, The Coritani, Town and Country: Verulamium and the Roman Chilterns, The Future of London's Past, Alfred V. Kidder, Early Man in America, Research and Theory in Current Archaeology, Letters from Sardis, and Flights into Yesterday.

When first discovered, Garden Hill appeared to be a typical Iron Age hillfort. Subsequent excavations revealed a fine Roman bath-house (complete with plug-hole still in position) and i t appears that the main use was in the Roman period as an extensive iron working settlement. James Money reports.

In Press Releases we give news of Photography, the Association of County Archaeological Officers, the Deserted Medieval Villages Research Group, Rotherham, and a conference to set up a Trades Union for archaeologists. (Ugh!!)

Letters discuss Chiefdoms, Zimbabwe, Wroxeter Scholarships, The Hole of the Year, and Artists.

Our Cover Photo shows Colchester, around 200 A.D., drawn by Alan Sorrell, and reproduced by courtesy of the Colchester Museum.

163 Editorial

164 Notes and News

166 Chelmsford

177 The Artist and Reconstruction by Alan Sorrell

182 Books

185 Garden Hill by James Money

189 Press Releases

190 Letters