Roman archaeology in the Upper Reaches of the Walbrook Valley

Excavations at 6–8 Tokenhouse Yard, London EC2,
PCA Monograph 14

By Jim Leary and Jonathan Butler

PCA Monograph No.13The Walbrook was undoubtedly a powerful and important topographical feature in Roman London. Its upper reaches were originally marshy and comprised a network of streams, progressively modified and reclaimed throughout the Roman period and beyond. Two small yet deep trenches excavated in advance of development at Tokenhouse Yard provided a fascinating to explore this part of the Roman city.

Here an early channel of the Walbrook had been infilled around the time of the conquest. By the mid first century AD, two exceptionally preserved, parallel, in situ fences with an alley running between them had been constructed. In the backyard of an associated building were found the remains of a tree stump belonging to the Pomoideae group, possibly a crab apple. A possible military presence is hinted at by the survival, amongst the remarkably preserved finds assemblage, of seventeen near-identical copper alloy studs from a belt, dated to the late first century AD.

The construction of a series of timber lined box drains, interspersed with episodic ground raising deposits, reflect repeated attempts to reclaim land and control the ever-present risk of flooding. Excellent preservation of waterlogged timbers enabled a program of tree ring dating which, combined with the recovered pottery assemblage, has allowed for exceptionally close dating of the archaeological sequence and flooding episodes. A cremated sheep carcass, a ceramic cockerel and a miniature shoe are among many objects that suggest the repeated placing of votive offerings in this waterlogged area.

Publication Details

Paperback: 142 pages
Publish Date: 2012
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0-9563054-5-9
ISBN-10: 0-9563054-5-8
Dimensions: 29.8 x 21.2 x 1.0 cm
Price: 15.00
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