Insula IX was first excavated in 1893, the fourth season of a twenty year project by the Society of Antiquaries of London to excavate the entire Roman city of Calleva Atrebatum (Silchester).
The University of Reading's excavation of approximately one-third of Insula IX (see above) began in 1997. Each
year since then an enormous amount of data has been gathered, data which is managed by means of an Integrated
Archaeological Database. Manipulation of these data will result in a programme of both conventional printed
and on-line publication of which the Victorian excavations of 1893 is part.
About this Web Site
Within a period of twenty years (1890-1909) a programme of excavations under the auspices of the Society of Antiquaries of London revealed a plan of all the stone buildings within the walled area of the Roman town. Up until now little has been known about the methodology by which the Victorian and Edwardian excavators achieved their goal, but the results of the Silchester Town Life excavations 1997-2000 and continuing are beginning to provide some evidence.
The Directors of the Society of Antiquaries' excavation
with members of the excavation team, 1903
© Copyright Reading Museum Service (Reading Borough Council). All rights reserved.
The Web Site for the excavation season of 1893 has been designed as a gateway into our growing
excavation archive. The entrance into the detailed listing of contexts, plans, finds and photographs
built up during each excavation season can be made via a number of themes, each of which allows a
closer look at the methods and detail of Victorian excavation and finds' recovery. The aim is to
bring the campaigns of 1893 to life with details not only of the Victorian discoveries in Insula IX,
but also of the lives and habits of the excavators who made those discoveries.
The Web Site is designed for use not only by the casual but interested visitor, but also by those who wish to know more about the way in which the Victorian excavations fit into the overall excavation sequence. The excavation matrix is a hierarchical way of ordering site information and ultimately of phasing and dating the site. The Victorian Home Page provides access to this matrix as another means of exploring the components of the site archive.
The Victorian Excavations of 1893 Web Site has been created by
Amanda Clarke and Michael Fulford (text origination and editing),
Ruth Shaffrey (web design and picture research), and
Michael Rains (web programming and technical support).
It has been made possible by a grant from the AHRB (now AHRC) for the development of an on-line archive for the continuing
excavation project in Insula IX of the Roman town at Silchester. The completed electronic publication and
database will be deposited with the Archaeology Data Service.
The Web Site creators acknowledge the help of Dr. Hella Eckardt, Margaret Mathews,
and Peter Davies, as well as the support and information provided by our colleagues
Professor John Allen of PRIS, Dr Roy Brigden of the Rural History Centre, and the
staff of Reading Museum.
Photographs are taken by Margaret Dixon (MAPS photographic services), Anthony Sibthorpe, or
the University of Reading Photographic Department, unless otherwise stated.
This site makes extensive use of the Integrated Archaeological Database (IADB) system, copyright
© York Archaeological Trust.
To cite this web publication, please use the following format:
Clarke, A., Fulford, M., Rains, M. & Shaffrey, R. (2001)
The Victorian Excavations of 1893
Silchester Roman Town - The Insula IX Town Life Project
Unless otherwise stated, all text, images and page design are copyright © University of Reading.