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Roman Britain and Vindolanda

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Introduction

Lisa Dougherty 11W 16-10-01 GCSE History Coursework - Roman Britain and Vindolanda 1) We visited Vindolanda on Tuesday 9th October 2001. Whilst at the fort and vicus we observed the foundations of buildings, the remains of the drainage and hypocaust system and system and the water storage tanks. We also saw the various artefacts in the museum and the replicas of the civilian buildings and forts. 2a) At Vindolanda there are various artefacts which show signs of advanced technology. Whilst on the visit we saw the foundations of what were once buildings. They were well organised in the form of a planned township. There is also evidence that there were roads, which would have been important for transportation and communications. We saw the remains of the drainage and hypocaust systems, these show great signs of advanced technologies and show that the Romans had a good understanding for the needs for warmth and hygiene. The remains of the bathhouse also suggests the Romans knowledge of the need for hygiene. There are also signs of the luxuries they had such as lamps, pottery, jewellery and metalware and articles which show signs of normal lifestyles such as writing tablets and charcoal fires. 2b) The Vindolanda fort was well protected against attackers. By looking at the remains of the walls we can tell they were built very thick to defend attackers. ...read more.

Middle

Source 5 shows a plan of Vindolanda vicus in the 3rd century. It shows the fact that Vindolanda was well planned and set out and shows evidence of the married quarters. All sources 2-5 back up the statement by Tacitus and all 4 sources show normal signs of civilisation at Vindolanda. Tacitus said that Agricola raised money for temples which suggests that the Romans were religious this backed up in source 4, shops this is backed up in sources 2 and 3 with signs of discovered luxuries and public squares. This is related to source 5 with the plan of the town. The planned township shows that Vindolanda was well planned to Roman design. 3b) The tablets that were written by the Vindolanda citizens show signs of peace. The only problem with these tablets are they aren't dated so we can't see which time the Pax Romania policy was carried out. Source 7 shows a clemency appeal. It shows that a man was appealing against being beaten with rods. This gives us the idea that a legal system was in operation but it doesn't show the date, so we don't know exactly when the legal system was in operation. Source 8 is a birthday invitation for September 14th but it doesn't have the year on. This suggests that the Romans had adopted some form of Roman calendar. It also shows peace and that they had social lives and communication systems. ...read more.

Conclusion

There are signs in source 2 (the findings from the bathhouse) that woman were present as wooden combs and hairpins have been found, so at some point there must have been peace as the woman wouldn't be present otherwise and source 2 also indicates there was time to socialise by going to the bathhouse. Also a chessboard, pottery and jewellery has been discovered which shows there was time to make or buy things and in the case of the chessboard time to play chess. Source nine is a military report, which shows at least once there wasn't peace at Vindolanda. In this military report the statement " The wretched Britons take up fixed positions in order to throw spears" is given. This indicates conflict between the residents of Vindolanda and the British. The fort was also very well defended which indicates they were prepared for attacks because if there were no battles or sieges they wouldn't need all the security. Pax Romana was achieved to a certain extent but not completely. Evidence such as the bathhouse, pottery and jewellery show that there was time for relaxing and socialising and doing ordinary everyday things other than always fighting. However there is also evidence which contradicts this such as the military report and the clemency appeal. There may still be evidence buried on the site of Vindolanda and as this is found it may help to come to a further conclusion. ...read more.

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