Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Corbridge: A Roman Town

The last stop on our tour of Hadrian's Wall was the remains of Corbridge: A Roman Town. Corbridge is significant for several reasons - the most obvious being the easily discernible stratification of several eras of Roman construction.

During the Roman occupation of the the British Isles, forts were constructed to secure areas of conquest. However, there was a secondary benefit. Roman soldiers meant opportunities for trade. So villages would spring up outside the forts. This process was a convenient way to Romanize (or civilize) the occupied area. Corbridge became one of two successful Roman towns in the area around Hadrian's Wall (the other being Carlisle). While Corbridge was growing and inhabited right up to the end of the Roman occupation, there was very little development thereafter in contrast to Carlisle. The Roman remains there are buried beneath a castle and modern town. But Corbridge is surrounding by rural lands lending itself to much more extensive excavations. Therefore, the remains of at least four forts built one on top of the other are apparent followed by a large legionary supply base and a full-blown town. Subsidence of the upper layers shows is the first clue that the town was built on top of previous forts.
The undulation of the ground in the center reveals settling due to the underlying Roman construction
I believe this was a granary - ventilation kept out the wet and pests
Subterranean drainage system
Storage Room
The museum at Corbridge houses a variety of items uncovered in the area including Roman armor and other items found as part of the Corbridge Hoard and the Corbridge Lion which is believed to be a gravestone.
Hunt cup from Corbridge Roman Town
Corbridge Lion
See our tour of Hadrian's Wall on YouTube
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