New Archaeology book from Winchester City Council Museums

Press Release: 13/11/2012

Roman Book

The latest book about archaeology from Winchester City Council will be launched by the Right Worshipful Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Frank Pearson, at Abbey House, Winchester on Tuesday 20th November 2012, between 10:30 am and 12 noon.

As part of an integrated series of studies on Winchester’s archaeology from excavations mainly in the 1970s and 1980s, the subject of this book is the suburbs and cemeteries of Winchester in the Roman period. It has many fascinating tales to tell about life in Winchester getting on for 2,000 years ago, long before King Alfred was even a twinkle in his ancestors’ eyes, and when nobody spoke English.

Some of the things that Roman-Brits did are totally unfathomable to the modern mind- why ease someone’s head off with a knife after they were dead, so that it could be put in their grave by their knees? More familiar, perhaps, are the signs on peoples’ skeletons of an indulgent lifestyle with a diet that was too rich in protein- Roman beef-burger, anyone?

Helen Rees, Curator of Archaeology for Winchester Museums said:

This kind of careful data collection and research is so useful for we curators, because it helps us to tell the story of Winchester’s wonderful heritage in lots of different ways- from events like Toga Tots for the under fives in the City Museum, to helping students with their PhD projects.

The research and publication costs of the book have been funded by English Heritage. To judge from orders for other volumes in the series, the books are being used all over the English-speaking world, from Canada and the US to Australia; from Austria to Russia; and throughout Britain in Bradford, Sheffield, Edinburgh, York, Oxford, Cambridge and Cardiff.

Councillor Patricia Stallard, Winchester City Council’s portfolio holder for Culture, Heritage and Sport added:

I’m delighted that partnership working with English Heritage has made it possible to publish this handsome volume, and make sure that Winchester’s famous archaeology stays firmly on the map.