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Anthropology Speakers' Series

On the Edge of Rome: a late Iron Age and Roman Centre of Power on Britain's Channel Coast

Speaker: Andrew Richardson | Outreach and Archives Manager, Canterbury Archaeological Trust
Filmed: Thursday, April 13, 2017

This lecture outlined discoveries made since the 1920's at East Wear Bay, Folkestone, England. The site, which is situated on the cliff top overlooking the English Channel, with the coast of France easily visible on clear days, has produced evidence of a remarkable prehistoric and Roman settlement. Whilst human activity at the site may date back as far as the Upper Palaeolithic, over 10,000 years ago, the height of activity seems to have been around 2,000 years ago, in the decades between Julius Caesar's conquest of Gaul (modern France and Belgium) and the Roman invasion of Britain under the Emperor Claudius in AD 43. During this time, East Wear Bay appears to have become one of the key points of contact between late Iron Age Britain and the Roman world. Today, an annual training excavation, the East Wear Bay Archaeological Field School, takes place every summer, with students from Texas State attending in 2015-16. This internationally important site is threatened by coastal erosion, and the talk will outline work to date and future plans to excavate the threatened areas before they are lost to the sea.