It has often been stated that Roman Britain was quintessentially a rural society, with the vast majority of the population living and working in farmsteads and occasional larger villages. Yet there was clearly a large degree of regional variation, and with the huge mass of mainly developer-funded excavation data created over the past 25 years, the incredible diversity and density of Roman rural settlement across the landscape is now starting to be demonstrated. The current 'Roman Rural Settlement Project' based at the University of Reading is using data collected from both published sources and unpublished 'grey literature' to provide new light on how the Romano-British countryside worked, including chronological and regional trends in settlement form and architecture, agricultural and industrial practices, and in matters of ritual expression. This talk will provide an overview of the current state of this research, focussing on the south-west region.
Part of the Salisbury Museum Archaeology Lectures (SMAL) series. SMAL lectures are held on the second Tuesday of each month from September to April.