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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
Hello everyone,
Thank you for kind words of welcome.

I shall attempt to answer some of your questions but, as I'm not used to this forum stuff, it might be a little messy.

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

I spent a lot of time examining this topic. Briefly, the battle took place during the Roman Warm Period when temperature was supposedly higher than today but 'today' happens to be a moving date when you study what we in the present call Climate Change. The details are too lengthy to relate. However, most writers 'assume' the temp was c.1degree warmer and wetter. One would assume therefore that it would be wetter in southern and central England but the latest studies of our warm period shows that rainfall decreases in these areas quite markedly - I don't think this is fully understood. Anyway, given the overall uncertainties already mentioned, I decided to not model the Roman Warm Period.

Quote: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.

The calculated hydrology model is naturalised and based on a 90metre SRTM topographic base. "Naturalised" means it is as nature would provide and without interference from man over the 2 thousand years (although there are obvious exceptions, e.g. the fenlands, major cities, airports etc.) The 90 metre base resolution does not allow small, local features, e.g field boundaries, to have an impact on the model.

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.

I don't think the individual legionaries were fresh from N.Africa, afterall, the invasion was 17 years old. Hardy they were and acclimatised to the UK. Their water need is extrapolated from USArmy and Nato studies for marching, fully loaded, combat troops operating in temperate climes (not N.Africa). The USArmy gives a sustaining water requirement of 20litres/man/day and 12.? for the minimum. My 9 litres/legionary/day is based on a tougher man, marching for his life, not caring too much if he misses a wash or two. Also, my lower figure adds an additional level of conservatism to the hydrology vs water-need calculations.

Quote: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.

Factoring in springs and wells would be very difficult at the level I operate. One could only do so at the local level, however, our alteration of the landscape, together with the huge levels of extraction via wells (farmers etc.), would make this retrospective investigation extremely difficult and values suspect to a great degree. But, in anycase, springs and wells are adequate for hillforts etc. with, say, 100s > c.2000 people, but, Suetonius has c.15,000 people plus animals - he could/would not have relied on seasonal springs and wells. He is too experienced for that mistake.

Quote: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.

It's all a question of scale as I suggested above. The forts were designed for relatively small numbers, not the campaigning armies we have in the Boudican revolt. That is not to say that one of these old forts did not play some flank-holding part in the actual battle site: one can imagine the Atrebatan allies being placed there by Suetonius (if only to keep them out of the way!).

Hydrology too gross? Of course, I have to say, no. In fact, as far as I have been able to ascertain, the hydrology story has been missed by workers because the gross water needs of the armies has not been examined before. The measurement of the Roman needs suddenly places water at the forefront of the commander's mind. But, he had a tremendous ally - the Roman Army engineer corps(?) who planned and built the road system, such that, large bodies of legionaries would always find an adequate, river-based, water source at the end of their typical marching day - by design, not accident. Take another look at the Roman replenishment map - it tells the story. By the way, I think there is a lot more to be said about this topic.

Quote: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.

5% is common which is why this one criterion is examined in the context of the others. It's the combination of criteria that provides the parsing of the terrain leading to the original 263 sites.

Quote:Big respect for the papers.

Thank you, that is kind.

Nathan Ross: your description (salt shaker etc.) of Tacitus receiving information of the form of the battle site may be correct but it is all we have to go on. If we don't accept the description then we must give up searching in a systematic fashion and rely totally on luck. There's no fun in that!

Nathan again: Why no mention of Silchester by Tacitus? Too small, insignificant, plus, he does mention Cogidubnus which, to his eyes and his Roman readers, is the pertinent fact. Also, when I read T. I always think he is writing as one who knows that the minutiae are well known by his audience - he seems to just drop in key phrases, names etc. to trigger their memories while he gallops on with the broad account.

Vindex: Interesting you should mention Sandhurst because I wrote to the library asking for assistance with the water needs of 18/19Century cavalry units etc.. I reasoned that if anyone had that information .... Didn't get a reply.

Regards, Steve Kaye
Reply


Messages In This Thread
Re: Calling all armchair generals! - by Ensifer - 03-11-2010, 03:13 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-18-2012, 06:26 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-19-2012, 12:02 AM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-19-2012, 02:50 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-19-2012, 05:40 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-19-2012, 11:26 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-24-2012, 05:11 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-24-2012, 09:42 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-24-2012, 10:10 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-25-2012, 03:11 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-25-2012, 03:25 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-25-2012, 08:36 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-26-2012, 02:57 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-27-2012, 01:50 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 08-05-2012, 02:24 PM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-07-2014, 02:18 PM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-08-2014, 01:50 AM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-11-2014, 02:03 AM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-18-2014, 07:54 AM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-20-2014, 02:37 AM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-25-2014, 08:29 AM

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