Hirst, S. M. and Wright, S. M., eds. (2005). A prestigious Roman building complex on the Southwark waterfront:. MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology).

Title
Title
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Title:
A prestigious Roman building complex on the Southwark waterfront:
Subtitle
Subtitle
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Subtitle:
excavations at Winchester Palace, London, 1983--90
Series
Series
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Series:
MoLAS Monograph
Volume
Volume
Volume number and part
Volume:
23
Number of Pages
Number of Pages
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Number of Pages:
206
Publication Type
Publication Type
The type of publication - report, monograph, journal article or chapter from a book
Publication Type:
Monograph Chapter (in Series)
Abstract
Abstract
The abstract describing the content of the publication or report
Abstract:
Report on a series of excavations along the south bank of the River Thames, upstream from London Bridge. The report deals with results pertaining to the Roman period at the site of Winchester Palace. Evidence from boreholes and excavations indicates that the river was much wider in the first century AD than at present, with at least two large islands in the area of modern north Southwark. These were fringed by extensive mudflats, mostly covered at high tide. The principle river crossing was just downstream from the modern London Bridge. Primary Roman activity recorded at the Winchester Palace site was located in a low-lying area immediately to the south of the early Roman waterfront. Initial land use included landscaping, drainage and the establishment of an area of gravel metalling aligned north-east/south-west, roughly parallel to the line of the bridgehead road to the east, that may have been part of a road. Clay and timber buildings dating to the AD 60s and 70s were established on a generally similar alignment. As Roman occupation intensified in the late-first century the riverfront was advanced to the north. Land reclamation behind an assumed timber revetment was achieved through the dumping of building debris, assisted by the natural accumulation of silts. The debris included building stone, tufa blocks, flue tiles from a hypocaust and painted wall plaster, decorative schemes on which were of exceptional richness and quality. Redevelopment south of the new waterfront included the establishment of a new metalled surface along a north-west/south-east alignment. To the west of this, a large masonry building with raised floors was associated with a smaller, circular building or structure at its eastern end. Clay and timber buildings lay along the east side of the metalling. The stone and tile buildings may have been used for storage; they are dated to c. AD 80--120, and the use of masonry at such an early date suggests a context of public importance. In the early-second century these buildings were superseded by others on a different alignment and larger plan, suggesting that land use over an extensive area was controlled by a single authority such as the provincial administration. The remains recovered suggest a range of palatial buildings fronting the river, including the caldarium of a large and opulent bathhouse. A suite of heated rooms to the east was notable for the quality of its internal decoration, suggesting high-status occupation. The building complex is interpreted as having had a military or administrative purpose. A third-century inscription recovered from the demolition debris of the bath suite lists a vexillation of legionary soldiers. The complex may have continued in use until the second half of the fourth century, but in a much reduced state, the bathhouse having been demolished in the late-third century. Includes French and German summaries; specialist reports include
Author
Author
The authors of this publication or report
Author:
Brian Yule
Editor
Editor
The editor of the publication or report
Editor:
Susan M Hirst
Susan M Wright ORCID icon
Publisher
Publisher
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Publisher:
MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology)
Year of Publication
Year of Publication
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Year of Publication:
2005
ISBN
ISBN
International Standard Book Number
ISBN:
1-901992-51-9
Source
Source
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Source:
Source icon
BIAB (The British & Irish Archaeological Bibliography (BIAB))
Created Date
Created Date
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Created Date:
21 Sep 2006

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