|Artist Re-Creation of Roman Corinium|
Basically, a dig at a former garage in Cirencester has uncovered forty Roman burials and four cremations all of which date from the period between A.D. 70 and A.D. 120. Ok, I’m being a bit of a history geek here but what is exciting about this is that previously, it was thought that inhumation (burial of the corpse) was not really widely performed in Britain until the later Roman period on the island. The concentration of so many burials from what is really the early period of Roman occupation in Britain changes things. Among the grave good discovered were bracelets made of green glass beads, jet beads, shale and copper alloy. A child’s grave on the site contained a ceramic flagon, also from the early period. Archaeologists are being cautious in the dating but seem pretty certain at this point. The artefacts will likely be displayed in the Corinium museum (www.cirencester.co.uk/coriniummuseum).
|2nd Century Amphitheatre of Corinium|
What is interesting about this from the historical fiction writer’s perspective is that it opens the door a bit more and gives us some leeway around Romano-British burial practices. Burial scenes can be extremely moving and now, if you are writing about the early Roman period in Britain, you can choose more easily between cremation and inhumation. Personally, I find fire a bit more dramatic, with its links to more ancient traditions and the heroic age. But, let’s face it. Times were changing and inhumation was fast becoming a trendier way to see folks into the afterlife or whichever paradise folks aspired to. The Egyptians certainly would have understood.
|Mosaic and Hypocaust Remains|
Chedworth Roman Villa