Introduction

A scheme to regenerate the County Hospital site led to a series of archaeological excavations in autumn 2000–1, enabling the south-western corner of the Roman town of Durnovaria to be examined. Numerous small-scale excavations have been undertaken in the past within the Roman town together with some larger-scale excavations. Despite this work gaps in our knowledge of street layout and the town plan remained. The opportunity to examine a reasonably large area of this part of the town was therefore of some importance.

Suburban life in Roman Durnovaria: Excavations at the former County Hospital Site,

Dorchester, Dorset 2000–2001

The book describes the results of the excavations, illustrating the development of buildings beside the Roman street. Amongst the stunning finds from the site are the beautiful mosaics, which have been painstakingly painted and described by Stephen R. Cosh, rare and exquisitely carved bone hairpins, and a gold ring. Other more mundane finds, have enable archaeologists to examine the everyday lives of the inhabitants. The environmental remains suggest that foodstuffs such as grain, wine or grapes and lentils were being imported from the continent. An important deposit of allec, a fish sauce, was also uncovered. The pottery from the site also sheds light on local industries as well as imported wares.

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