Category Archives: General

Roman Road Ownership

All Roman roads so far traced across the landscape have been painstakingly researched by at least one person in the past. The researcher has spent hours looking at maps, aerial photographs, and has spent days in the field looking for traces. This research has sometimes been fruitless, with no evidence of a road being found. But where evidence has been found, and has been published to the world, we must be grateful. They have not only found a road, but they have consequently announced it to the world. In a sense they have ‘owned’ the road when researching it, but they are generous enough to share it with the world by publication of its route.

I certainly value the contribution of their discovery, but I also appreciate the public disclosure of it. I intend to highlight who has discovered a particular road (where an individual is known), and when this occurred. This is highly important as it is part of the roads’ provenance; like an old master or a Ming vase, this provenance is every part of the road’s history. After all, a new Roman road discovered and added to the canon of known routes is a big event. We must encourage discoveries, and publication of Roman road discoveries by mentioning who discovered it in the first place. It is almost like citing the author of a reference work.

If you have discovered a Roman road but have not yet gone public, let me know, and I will publish the details, and make sure you are cited as its discoverer. If two or more researchers have independently found the same road, they should all be classed as the road’s discoverers as they each reinforce the efforts of the other.

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Which Hampshire Archaeological Society?

In North east Hampshire, the world of archaeology is served comprehensively by three groups:

Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society
http://www.fieldclub.hants.org.uk/

This society goes back some years but it is “constantly evolving and is not bound by tradition”. They have a yearly O.G.S. Crawford Lecture, and an Annual Report of Archaeology in Hampshire, which is a report of all excavations in the county.


North East Hampshire Historical and Archaeological Society

http://www.nehhas.com/

They are

interested in historical and archaeological matters relating to North East Hampshire UK. We encourage members to take part in research, field work and excavations.

As an alternative, there is:


North East Hampshire Historical and Archaeological Society
(Field Archaeology Branch)

http://www.nehhas.org.uk/

These guys have been closely involved in the research of the recently discovered Winchester to Farnham route, and they are currently looking at a direct route from Winchester to Chichester (The Antonine Itinerary route goes via Clausentum (Bitterne), though the mileages given would suit a more direct route, hence the reason for looking for such a route.

Both NEHHAS and NEHHAS (FAB) have published details of the Winchester to Farnham route separately. It makes studying Roman roads in this area rather difficult, especially as both these societies are looking at Roman roads. Which society do I join? Can I become the member of all groups at a discount?

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Welcome to Roman Roads.Net!

How appropriate that the domain romanroads.net was available: the roman road system was one of the very first organised networks in the world.

We know about many Roman Roads, but I believe there are more waiting to be discovered – for example smaller, shorter ‘feeder’ roads that would allow access to the main routes to the local market towns. The movement of foodstuffs, and grain in particular, would have been significant in an economy that was based on large agricultural surpluses.

I will start by looking at the Antonine Itinerary.

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