Among the highlights of this issue is an account of one of the most impressive achievements in British Archaeology. This is a meticu-
lous corpus of all known Roman mosaic pavements, prepared by David
Neal and Step hen Cosh, and illustrated by their own superb paintings.
It will be published in four volumes and here we explain how the project has been set up, while the two co-authors then make their personal choice of the best and worst mosaics in Roman Britain.
As it turns out, this is mainly a Roman issue, in which we can follow the progress of the Roman Conquest.
When the Romans arrived, their first problem was to defeat the
Britons and the crucial battle took place on the River Medway -
arguably the most important battle in British history apart from the
Battle of Hastings. Nigel Nicolson has been studying the texts and has located what he believes to be the site of the battle, where he has had erected a memorial to this momentous event. Here he puts forward the arguments for the location and describes how the stone was erected.
The initial victory was followed by rapid consolidation of the south eastern part of the country - so rapid indeed that hitherto no Roman forts have been located in Oxfordshire. Now one has been located near
Alchester, and here Eberhard Sauer, a young German scholar who has come to Oxford to study, explains how he has been excavating it with the Oxford University Archaeological Society and why he believes the fort was followed by a military parade ground.
And finally the Romans arrived at Wroxeter - the furthest town in the
Roman Empire. The town has been extensively excavated but what about the hinterland? How far was this Romanised? What effect did the Roman conquest have on this essentially Celtic countryside? The
Wroxeter hinterland project has been examining this question, and here
Roger White describes some of the results, including excavations at a new Roman 'villa' at Whitley Grange.
Finally for something completely different we turn to a recent motorway archaeology project where the Derby Southern Bypass cuts through a number of unusual prehistoric remains.
This issue of Current Archaeology is accompanied by the Directory of British Archaeology 1998-9 with nearly 30% more entries than in previous years, over 700 in all.
CURRENTARCHAEOLOGY No.157 VolXIVNo 1
Published May 1998
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