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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
#91
Quote:A metal detector survey was done on the Cuttle Mill/Paulerpury site under the guidance of the Battlefields Trust (the same guys who relocated the Battle of Bosworth last year)but nothing of consequence was found and the bodies turned out to be 7th-8th century (C14).

Now you see that is EXACTLY my point! It may not have been of consequence to YOU in terms of Bouddica but it is archaeology and of consequence. The best way to preserve archaeology is to leave it in the ground. Once you have discovered it, you have to do something responsible with it! Who dealt with the bodies? Which museum or archaeological unit was responsible for the correct handling, analysis and preservation (if necessary) of these inconsequential bodies??? AAARRRGGGGHHHHHHH ...and breathe...

Quote: So detectors at dawn somewhere near Dunstable anyone?

:mrgreen:

Yup...you get a nice group of detectorists lined up and I will demonstrate enfilade fire from a defilade position with the appropriate artillery :wink:
Moi Watson

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other; body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!
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#92
"Who dealt with the bodies? Which museum or archaeological unit was responsible for the correct handling, analysis and preservation (if necessary) of these inconsequential bodies??? AAARRRGGGGHHHHHHH ...and breathe..."

I think it was Northamptonshire Archaeology, Glenn Foard was the archaeological director of the Trust at the time, and as former county archaeologist I assume all was appropriate. Bodies are of no means inconsequential, in this context of this thread, they removed a corner stone of the Paulerspury theory and I assume will go some way to looking at the Upper Nene and Ouse colonisation in the Dark Ages, but that's for another forum.

"Yup...you get a nice group of detectorists lined up and I will demonstrate enfilade fire from a defilade position with the appropriate artillery"

Please be so kind as to mark your rounds clearly with a date and so their remnants are not mistaken for older finds when we dig them up. Best answer to the metal detecting problem I overheard from a French historian at a dig a while ago was to salt the ground with lots and lots of tiny metal disc's, apparently it makes French Nighthawks heads explode with frustration.

Church Stowe was a WWII practice range so detecting there is likely to pull up several tonnes of C20th shrapnel before any hint of Roman surfaces
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#93
Folks, can we cut back a bit on detectorists as an issue?
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#94
Quote:it was the one used for "Battlefield Britain"
Ha! Always amusing to watch that again.

Peter Snow: So Paulinus raced orf down Watling street with his cavalry bodyguard... Paulinus came racing down Watling street... he had only a handful of men...

No he didn't and no he didn't! If this thread has done anything over the years, it should hopefully have demonstrated the implausibility of the racing Paulinus!

Another point about II Augusta as well - Mr Snow's handy foldout map actually illustrates the unlikeliness of the second legion being ordered up the Fosseway to meet Paulinus somewhere in the Midlands. Imagine coordinating such a thing, in a time of crisis - if either force is delayed, the other has to hang about kicking their heels, about a hundred miles from the prospective scene of battle! Far more sensible to direct the Second eastwards towards London, where they'd be needed...

This program is also the source, I think, of the idea that the 'wedge formation' resembled a serrated sawblade. There was another formation called the 'saw', but the wedge was a different beast.

Quote:Church Stowe was a WWII practice range so detecting there is likely to pull up several tonnes of C20th shrapnel before any hint of Roman surfaces
The vast majority of sites in southern England are going to have some problem or other that would count against archaeological investigation. As mentioned above, the old Thames valley route has been heavily developed over the years - Virginia Water itself is an 18th century reservoir, surrounded by forest plantations, surburban housing and golf courses. The most promising site at Dunstable is actually a medieval chalk pit in the hillside south-west of the road (possibly once a 'defile' :-D ) - in either case, and many like them, finding anything today would be next to impossible.
Nathan Ross
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#95
Quote: This program is also the source, I think, of the idea that the 'wedge formation' resembled a serrated sawblade. There was another formation called the 'saw', but the wedge was a different beast.

....uh oh! We really DON'T want to start that one again :wink: . Moving swiftly on...

Quote: The most promising site ....(possibly once a 'defile' Big Grin ) ...

I'm very impressed you spotted that one too Big Grin
Moi Watson

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other; body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!
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#96
Can you give the co-ordinates for the Dunstable site, it sounds like it's getting as serious as any of the other candidates if the two of you are bagging it.

I thought the "flying wedge" formation was there just to prove the Snows can't play rugby, very, very odd analogy that one. However a great lesson in how a caring, connected, Dad can create a TV historian in single series.

Maybe a bit tangential but I had picked up a story from a local archaeologist that a small Roman fort had been found in the vicinity of Piddington, anyone heard anything about that?http://www.ussu.net/epicentre/events.php?id=328
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#97
Hello,
I've enjoyed reading this thread, thank you.

My first essay on Boudica's last battle has already been noted and I thought you might like to read the latest, second attempt at using novel techniques, in this case hydrology, to refine the search. Warning: this is a work in progress/editing.

Second (hydrology): www.bandaarcgeophysics.co.uk/Boudica/Boudica-logistics.pdf

First (terrain analysis): www.bandaarcgeophysics.co.uk/Boudica/Boudica-terrain-analysis.pdf

Regards, Steve Kaye
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#98
welcome aboard Steve
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#99
Quote:Can you give the co-ordinates for the Dunstable site, it sounds like it's getting as serious as any of the other candidates if the two of you are bagging it.
Here it is on Bingmaps - it's actually Kensworth that I'm thinking of.

Kensworth map

The Chalk pit only dates from the 30s, but the area was used for lime burning before that, and was heavily wooded from at least the middle ages. The problem here is the definition of a 'defile' and a 'plain'. I had believed that the narrow valley leading up from the road towards the chalk pit (around Lodge Farm on the map) might work, but it's far too narrow and curves away from any level ground. So the area to the south, around Kensworth village itself might be better - the Roman line perhaps following the minor road next to Nash Farm. There's enough room here for a line of 0.7 miles, which would fit 10,000 men I think. The land rises and narrows to the north-west into Dunstable Down, which is the escarpment of the Chilterns.

Alternatively, the Roman line could have blocked the road itself, just north-west of Lodge farm, with a rise to either side and Dunstable on the high ground behind them - but Tacitus would surely have mentioned if there was a town behind them, rather than woods!

But all this is sheer idle fancy, of course... Confusedmile:

Quote:However a great lesson in how a caring, connected, Dad can create a TV historian in single series.
Ah yes, 'my historian son Dan' :wink: It's quite funny that the pronunciation of Boudica as 'Boo-dikka' is now so universal, after replacing the incorrect Boadicea. It's most likely the name was pronounced Bow-Dee-kah...

Quote:I thought you might like to read the latest, second attempt at using novel techniques, in this case hydrology, to refine the search.
I did, thanks! A very thorough analysis. I'm still not utterly convinced by a battle site west of Silchester though - I suppose the town could have been destroyed and not registered on the Tacitean radar, but it seems more likely that the destruction of a major allied tribal centre, with Roman-style town planning, would have added one more to the list of 'sacrificed' locations... :-?
Nathan Ross
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Hi Steve, really good to see you on here. Welcome. Your drainage basin maps really throw into clear relief the north west trending limestone highlands from the Coswolds through Northamptonshire to Lincoln, but also the same effect that the Chilterns present.
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The Battlefield Britain folks give a good case for their choice, but what we don't know is where and how dense the forests were in that day. And I think they got it wrong with the "wedge" formation. Neither side has a real advantage the way they depict it: both would be in the same configuration, and the case becomes less convincing.

The baggage train's being an obstacle, and the last stand seems very expected. Annihilation would have been the logical choice for the Romans, then plundering whatever was in the wagons. Food, metals, etc.
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
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@ Steve I'm not sure if you are wanting comments or a conversation about the papers. Just to state some thoughts about hydrology and terrain. One has to factor in a few things I don't have a full grip on;

1, Altered climate, in 60AD where were we in the climate cycle, more or less rainfall than current climate.

2, Altered drainage, agricultural development over 2000 years and particularly agri drainage over the last 200 years must have had an impact on accessible ground water/spring volumes and floodlands capacity to hold and release water.

3, Hardiness, if units like the XX are fresh out of North Africa I'm not sure how one might confidently assess their water needs.

I'm thinking about this in the context of the recently deceased Church Stowe theory,don't worry it's still dead, where we have a very permeable sandstone on top of Lias clay. There are a number of elevated springs along the obvious springline, and clear evidence of ploughed out streams and springs, so with CS one would have to assume a force utilising springs and wells. How can one factor in ancient spring yields into your model? With Dunstable on Chalk it would be far harder to claim water availability.

In the area we have a number of Iron Age Hill Forts, Borough Hill, Hunsbury Hill, Castle Dykes and possibly Arbury Hill, all must have had a reasonable and secure water supply. I'm therefore wondering if the hydrology argument is too gross a tool for this task.

In terms of the terrain analysis I'd be interested to hear others views on the 5% slope gradient you have applied, I don't feel qualified to comment on that. However the CS site has a significant area that falls within this slope range between Weedon Hill and Castle Dykes. So on this one I'm wondering if the selection criteria are too exclusionary.

Were you aware of the GIS thread Steve Otto started last week that has led unwittingly to the questionable resurrection of this one?

If you don't want to go into this on the forum, let me know, I'll delete and we can deal with it on email. Alternatively should anyone with more than three posts on this thread commit to coming down the pub to really sort this out the proper way.

Big respect for the papers,
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Quote:3, Hardiness, if units like the XX are fresh out of North Africa I'm not sure how one might confidently assess their water needs.
:?: :!:
posted by Duncan B Campbell
https://ninth-legion.blogspot.com/
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Quote:In terms of the terrain analysis ...I'm wondering if the selection criteria are too exclusionary.
This is always going to be a problem. Our only source for the lie of tha land, of course, is Tacitus - who wasn't there. We must assume that the battle was described to him by an eye-witness (Agricola?) - but that would have been twenty or more years later...

We might imagine the conversation:

Agricola: Now then, let me show you the position... Old Suetonius was up here, where I've placed the salt shaker, and on either side there were trees - I'll put the broccoli along there to mark it out... And our line was drawn up in this defile between, just here, where I've placed these asparagus stalks. See what I mean?

Tacitus: Oh yes! (scratches on wax tablet - trees, defile)

Agricola: Now, the Brits... well, they were all over the table, I mean the plain, just here. I'll sprinkle these snail shells about to represent them. Right! So on they come - right against our line - we charge forward in the old wedge... and BLAM BLAM BLAM! As you can see, smashed snail shells all over the shop!

Tacitus: Very clear, father-in-law. Fancy another bowl of wine?

And so on... Also - what might look like a wooded defile to a footsore Roman soldier at ground level might appear to us today, after de- or re- forestation, and with the benefit of aerial views and accurate terrain mapping, as a mere undulation in the fields...
Nathan Ross
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DB Campbell wrote
"3, Hardiness, if units like the XX are fresh out of North Africa I'm not sure how one might confidently assess their water needs. ?!"

I had understood the XX were with Paulinus in North Africa (Mauretania 40's/50's AD?)prior to being in Britain, I recall they had a number of Primo Pilus recruited from there, but naturally I defer to you on this Dr Campbell. Comment is based on Steve's estimated consumption of 9 litres of water per person per day.
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