In this series of 6 short blogs I am going to tell the story of what happens when you go looking for a medieval battlefield!
The Bosworth Battlefield Survey, which ran for 4 years from 2005, was a major HLF funded project to locate the famous battle. It was very successful, but along the way, as is always the case with such surveys, a lot of non-battle archaeology was found by the large volunteer team.
Included in the final 7,128 objects, which date from the Neolithic to the 20th century, were some very interesting Roman finds. They were all coming from one particular field near the visitors centre. The general area around the centre was known to be a Roman settlement with evidence of pottery kilns, so more Roman finds weren’t unexpected.
I first became involved in this site when I became an FLO in 2003, when my opinion was sought. Before the survey had started, investigations in the area had recovered a very interesting statue fragment and a group of 8 horse and rider brooches (6 of these are below).
I did a bit of research and realised that we had already matched the largest assemblage then known, 8 from Hockwold Cum Wilton in Norfolk. This was the site of a Roman temple and other single or small groups of these brooches had also been found in contexts which suggested ritual practices. This was quite interesting information, but for the time being the Battlefield survey had to take precedence.
During the life of the project, the detectorists who were volunteering all week on the battlefield project, gave up their weekends to carry on searching ‘the Roman field’. Their dedication is amazing and because of them the site revealed a substantial assemblage of Roman material. In the next instalments I will highlight the important aspects of this and also what we discovered on site.