Roman Studies Group

Visit to SOAG excavation of Gatehampton Roman villa

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South Oxfordshire Archaeological Group is extending its excavations at Gatehampton Roman villa, near Goring-on-Thames into 2019. The focus this year will be the bath house and exploration of  a possible new building. The visit will include an explanation of the site, a tour of the excavations and viewing of the latest finds. Whilst there is no fee for the tour, donations to the project are welcomed.

Following the visit to the excavation there is the option to stay locally for a pub lunch.

Visit to the Silchester Bath House Excavations

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Excavations are continuing this year on the bath house at Silchester. For the visit Professor Mike Fulford, Site Director, will put the excavations in context, show the excavation itself and then show some of the finds. 

Following the visit there is the option to stay for a pub lunch and/or view the ampitheatre and walk around the town walls. An audio guide has been produced by English Heritage featuring Mike Fulford that can be downloaded to iPod, mobile phone or mp3 player.

Whilst there is no fee for the visit donations will be welcome to support the project. 

Visit to the Mithraeum and Billingsgate Roman House and Baths

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Starting at  11.30am we will be having a private guided visit to the Billingsgate Roman House and Baths lasting approximately 1.5 hrs.

This will be followed by a visit to the Mithraeum booked for 14.00.

The Temple of Mithras was discovered in 1954, and as part of the recent Bloomsberg redevelopment of the site, the temple was reconstructed where it was originally found. There is also a remarkable selection of Roman artefacts found around the site.

Excavation at Cocks Farm Abinger

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The latest season of excavation will take place at Cocks Farm, Abinger June-July 2019. This season will further explore Roman and Iron Age features in the field adjacent to the Roman villa first discovered in the 1870s.  The dates are:

Saturday 15th - Wednesday 19th June

Saturday 22nd - Wednesday 26th June

Monday 1st - Wednesday 3rd July

Saturday 6th - Wednesday 10th July

Saturday 13th  - Tuesday 16th July 

Trip to Newport and Brading Roman Villas, Isle of Wight

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A trip to the Isle of Wight to visit Newport and Brading Roman villas is planned for 29th September. The programme is below and if you are interested please contact John Felton - 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              john.felton@ntlworld.com

Querns and millstones in the South-East and Surrey: Ruth Shaffrey

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Ruth Shaffrey is a worked stone specialist currently working at Oxford Archaeology. She has reported on querns from several Surrrey sites and recently had a paper published in Surrey Archaeological Collections, 110, 71-142  Roman Ewell: a review of the querns and millstones and implications for our understanding of the organisation of grain processing.

Recent fieldwork at Cocks Farm Abinger: Emma Corke

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Site director, Emma Corke, will update us on recent fieldwork at Cocks Farm Abinger. Work in the field adjacent to the scheduled Roman villa, targeted using the results of magnetometry, has revealed a concentration of Iron Age grain storage pits, enclosure ditches and related activity, Romano-British field boundaries and agricultural ditches, and evidence for Bronze Age activity on the site (up to 2017 season). 

The garum and salt industries in Northern Gaul during the late Iron Age and Roman periods: James Bromwich

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Garum was a favourite condimentof the Romans. It was made made from the fermented blood and innards of selected fish and was produced across the empire to meet the wide demand. Luckily, ancient sources describe the different types of garum and how it was made. The written sources are complemented by evidence from Pompeii, and it appears to have been a very lucrative trade. Salt was also a significant contributor to the Roman economy, and was vital to the preservation of foodstuffs including meat, dairy and fish.

Predicting Roman rural settlement in Surrey: Martyn Allen

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Martyn Allen is well known to many in the Roman Studies Group, having talked to us previously, and as a freelance osteoarchaeologist he has provided expert bone  reports for some of our excavations. He is  currently a Post-Excavation Project Manager working for Oxford Archaeology Ltd. His  research focuses on the settlement and agricultural economy of late Iron Age and Roman Britain, with an emphasis on the zooarchaeological evidence.

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