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Silchester Roman Town

The 'Town Life' Project 1997-2002

· The Insula IX excavation

· Calleva - A Roman City

· City of the Client Kingdom

· Calleva Atrebatum: the civitas capital

· The Late Roman City

· Abandonment

· Recording and Publication

· Working with the Public

· Acknowledgements

Calleva, A Roman City

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Aerial photograph of Silchester excavation

The Project

The Silchester Town Life Project was established in 1997 by the Department of Archaeology, at the University of Reading. The project is both a training Field School and a research excavation located in a major Roman civitas capital (administrative centre), situated in the parish of Silchester, in the county of Hampshire (England).

Silchester

The Roman name for Silchester was Calleva Atrebatum which denotes its role as the centre of the territory of the Atrebates, one of the major late Iron Age tribes in southern Britain.

Silchester was one of the main towns of Roman Britain and stands at the junction of a number of major routes leading to other urban centres. It is unusual in that, unlike comparable Roman cities such as London, Winchester and Chichester, Silchester never re-emerged as a town in the later Anglo-Saxon period. The site was abandoned after the Roman period, the existence of a city beneath the fields indicated only by the surrounding town walls and, in dry weather, by the lines of the street grid appearing in the pasture and revealing the town blocks (insulae).

Section of Victorian illustration showing insulae

Large scale excavations were carried out over 20 years (1890-1909) by the Society of Antiquaries of London. Their achievement was to excavate the whole of the Roman Town within the walls, resulting in the now familiar plan of Silchester.

THIS SECTION: Top of Page | The Insula IX excavation | Calleva - A Roman City | City of the Client Kingdom | Calleva Atrebatum: the civitas capital | The Late Roman City | Abandonment | Recording and Publication | Working with the Public | Acknowledgements |

Silchester Insula IX © Copyright University of Reading
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File last modified: 01 Jan 1970