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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
I know I said I'd sworn off this thread, but since things are a bit quiet around here... [Image: wink.png]

I was in the British Museum last week, and happened to notice one of the exhibits. Most of you will know it - a bronze Coolus E helmet. What caught my attention was the information card: found during the digging of the Grand Junction canal between Tring and Berkhamstead.

British Museum Helmet


[Image: AN00033850_001_l.jpg?width=304]
There are actually (I think) very few legionary helmets from Britain - this one, another at Colchester, and a third from the Thames. All of them early-mid 1st century. The find spot for this one is a bit vague: 'Northchurch, Norcott Hill' - but if it was found during the canal construction in 1813 then it must have been close to the canal itself, perhaps where Norcott Hill crosses it, or thereabouts. This is close enough to Akeman Street, of course. But why would a helmet have been deposited there, when so few have been found elsewhere?

Here's the hypothesis: the helmet could have belonged to one of the legionaries who fought in the Claudian invasion of AD43. These men, upon discharge, could have been settled in the new veteran colony at Colchester and taken their kit with them. When the colony was conquered by the rebels in AD61, the helmet was picked up by one of the Britons. He took it with him to the final battle against Paulinus, where it was dropped or discarded during the rout - perhaps in the fight around the wagons. It was then interred with all the rest of the battle debris, only to be unearthed more than 1750 years later during the construction of the Grand Junction canal. As a large and recognisable item, it alone was preserved.

So - is there anywhere close to the probable find spot that might fit with our battle site description? I think it might (I've removed the canal from this plan):

   

Looks like a defile, 900m-ish wide, narrowish 'plain' in front. No sign of woods behind, but patterns of forestation etc etc. There is the problem of the Bulbourne, which would have risen much higher before the canal altered things - but if this was midsummer it may have been a fairly inconsiderable stream, or even completely dry.

What do you reckon?
Nathan Ross
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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
RE: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand. - by Nathan Ross - 02-12-2016, 12:24 PM

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