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What Primary and Secondary Evidence is Available to Prove Roman Forts Existed in Britain, and how Reliable is this Evidence

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Introduction

What Primary and Secondary Evidence is Available to Prove Roman Forts Existed in Britain, and how Reliable is this Evidence Due to the lack of roman evidence, we must build up a picture of Roman Britain like a jigsaw piece by piece. To build up this jigsaw we have to use all the evidence available to us primary and secondary. Whilst using this evidence to build up a picture of Roman Britain we also have to be aware of new evidence, which becomes available to us. Such techniques as aerial photography and computer enhanced imaging become more advanced so will more information become available and this may or may not change our ideas on Roman Britain. We are going to look at a city called Chester to find out more about Roman Britain and see if they did build forts in Britain. In Chester there is a selection of primary and secondary evidence to look at from the Roman conquest in Britain. In Chester there is a Garden called The Roman Gardens this is a tourist attraction where Roman artefacts have been moved to because of lack of space in the city of Chester. ...read more.

Middle

The amphitheatre in Chester is based upon a similar one in Cerulean in South Wales, because Cerulean was I fort it would be reasonable to presume that Chester was also a fort. However, there is a problem for historians when evaluating the amphitheatre because there is only half of it visible, the over half is under the convent so we have to use educated guesswork to envisage what the other half looks like. These guesses are quite reliable because archaeologists are well trained in what they do. The South East Angle Tower is in the centre of Chester opposite the amphitheatre. Unfortunately there are only 2 or 3 layers of foundation stone's left. There is a Plaque, which is secondary evidence, that tells us that there was a ditch measuring 9*20ft. The South East Angle Tower indicated that the walls were probably built for defence because they are so thick. Also, the size of the ditch suggests it was a defensive feature. As with the amphitheatre, historians have to use educated guesswork with the other angle towers as they are under the ground. Next to the Cathedral there is a piece of roman wall. Most of the wall in Chester is medieval wall. We can tell this because of there size and cut. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the Museum there where an array of about 30 to 40 gravestones dating from 2000 years ago with roman information on them. The gravestones suggest a military presence because most of the gravestones were gravestones of soldiers and cavalrymen. This would suggest that Chester was a Roman fort because it would need defending and solider and cavalrymen would be needed and some of these men may have been killed defending Chester. Also in the Museum there is an array of pieces of amour and shields also there are horses bridles and stirrups. This evidence suggests that Chester was a military base because soldiers and cavalrymen would only use this equipment. This evidence can be regarded as reasonably reliable because it has been well researched by trained Archaeologists. Some of the secondary evidence in the museum such as models of forts, barracks, soldiers the South East Angle Tower. These models give a reasonably reliable picture of roman Chester because trained Archaeologists and model builders, which have researched what they where building. However, Historians studying Roman Chester would have to be wary of these models (evidence) because it is an educated guess and the models are quiet old some are around 40 years old and between those 40 years new evidence may have been found. Which make the models out of date. ...read more.

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