Frequent holidays on Hadrian’s Wall have made me an enthusiastic explorer of evidence from Roman Britain. One particularly intriguing aspect is the extent of travel around the empire which led to people from all regions of the empire spending time or settling in Britain. Sadly there’s never been enough space in the KS3 books I’ve written to explore this in enough depth. However a new website created by the Department of Archaeology at the University of Reading, provides a wonderful opportunity to investigate life in Roman Britain and particularly the issue of migration and the diversity of the Roman empire.
The website www.romansrevealed.com has been created in collaboration with the Runnymede Trust (an educational race equality charity) and Caroline Lawrence (author of The Roman Mysteries). It enables students to explore life in Roman Britain through four individuals, either through ‘excavating’ their graves or by following short stories written by Caroline Lawrence. Through videos, they can also hear from the research team and learn about the work of archaeologists. A teaching resource pack and activity sheets can be downloaded from the website.
In fact it’s a really interesting exploration of what recent archaeological research can tell us for people of any age. The department at the University of Reading examined more than 150 skeletons from Roman Britain, identifying a significant number of migrants, particularly in late Roman York and Winchester. Scientific analysis indicated that up to a third of the individuals sampled could be classed as non-local, with a smaller number possibly from outside the UK from both warmer and colder climates. Women and children were amongst these migrants, clearly contradicting the perception of ‘The Romans’ as just Italian soldiers.
Visit Romans Revealed [ HERE … ]