Things have been very quiet on the Piercebridge front recently, as I’ve been grappling with a chapter on the function of coinage in Roman Britain and more than 2600 coins from Old Winteringham in Lincolnshire!
However, things will soon get back on track with regards to Piercebridge as I’m off to Copenhagen tomorrow to give a lecture at the Roman Military Equipment conference. Entitled ‘Is the Piercebridge assemblage a military votive deposit?’, I’m hoping the paper will lead to lots of interesting discussion and hopefully, I’ll get identifications for some of the objects which have proved difficult to pin down.
Anyway, here’s the abstract for my lecture:
Is the Piercebridge assemblage a military votive deposit?
Over the past twenty years, an assemblage of approximately 4,000 Roman objects has been recovered from the bed of the River Tees at Piercebridge, County Durham. The assemblages includes a diverse range of material from jewellery to military artefacts, coinage to medical instruments. Although found directly adjacent to a late third century Roman fort and small town, these objects do not appear to represent settlement detritrus. Rather, they form a large and votive deposit, unparalleled even by the Sacred Spring at Bath and Coventina’s Well in Northumberland. This paper will provide an update on current work on the assemblage and assess the contribution that it will make to our understanding of Roman Piercebridge and of religious practice at the periphery of the Roman Empire. I will concentrate particularly on the role of the military equipment found within the assemblage. Can this equipment be interpreted as representing the offerings of soldiers passing through Piercebridge on their way to the northern frontier or could there be more complex meanings behind the selection and deposition of the material?
I will report back in a couple of weeks time!