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VIRTUAL - The People of the Roman Frontiers: Investigating multicultural populations in the western Roman empire through archaeology
March 24, 2022 @ 4:00 pm MDT Mountain Time
This is an online event.
Sponsored by: Archaeological Institute of America
AIA Society: Edmonton
Lecturer: Elizabeth M. Greene
The process of Roman conquest was violent, deadly and devastating to local ways of life. In the wake of conquest and imperial control we find new settlements with military and civilian populations, reorganized landscapes and intense movement of peoples around and through the Roman provinces. Recent trends in research of provincial and frontier archaeology have highlighted the very individual nature of responses to conquest and the need to consider local situations within a broader framework. To this end, microhistories of individual sites and landscapes have proven fruitful when set into a broader regional and sometimes global context. This talk will present one of those microhistories from the site of Vindolanda, where a population of soldiers, families, merchants and travelers lived for hundreds of years on the northwest frontier in Britain. The site is particularly useful for understanding the earliest phases of settlement after conquest in the late first and early second centuries, through the writing tablets, footwear and wooden objects preserved in anaerobic conditions on site. The picture of life in this settlement that results is far more robust than typical archaeological environments allow and we are able to understand a great deal about individuals and their histories. Elizabeth Greene has excavated and researched the material culture at Vindolanda for nearly twenty years and will draw from that experience to present a vivid picture of the people of the Roman frontiers.
Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:
Birley, Robin. 2000. Civilians on Rome’s Northern Frontier: Families, Friends and Foes (The Vindolanda Trust)
Greene, E.M. 2020. “Roman Military Communities and the Families of Roman Auxiliary Soldiers,” in L.L. Brice (ed.), New Approaches to Greek and Roman Warfare. Wiley-Blackwell. 149-160.