London is a Roman Creation

I don’t know exactly when the realisation dawned upon me, but for most of its history, London was really, just the “square mile”, the City of London. That City is a Roman creation, and still is very much Roman. The present boundary of it mirrors the Roman town, Londinium. But I am thinking of this […]

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The Silence and the Noise

The last thing I was expecting our lockdown to bring was a serene and eerie atmosphere. It is something I am not used to, and it leaves me unsettled. I could not put my finger on it, until I realised it was a lack of modern noise that was unnerving. It is the thing science […]

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Water God

My very first archaeological dig was on a massive Roman farm estate, located right in the centre of the wheat production area of Roman Britain. It was a huge excavation and I spent a wonderful summer living in a tent. The Roman owner of this estate would have been a business “magnate”, as opposed to […]

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Another dirty book

The Metorpolitan Commission of Sewers, surveryors report, Soho, 1855 Thinking of my previous article on dirty books and manuscripts, I once worked on a book that was covered in very different kind of grime, and a very different context. This could be some archaeology I discovered in the archives? One area of history I have […]

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Dusty and Dirty Books

As soon as you walk into an archive store, you can smell the dust. 100,000s of books and documents dating back hundreds of years, all carry dust and dirt they picked up along the way. They are encrusted with it. As you open a book or the lid of an archive box, it hits you […]

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