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Roman Richborough

Nature volume 131, pages 538539 (15 April 1933) | Download Citation



AFTER eleven years excavation on the site of Roman Richborough, it is at last possible, according to the account of the most recent discovered given by Dr. J. P. Bushe-Fox before the Society of Antiquaries on April 6, to assign a purpose to the large timbered buildings occupied during the first half century of the Roman conquest of Britain. It is now evident that these buildings, differing in character from both barracks and structures for domestic occupation, were port store-houses for grain and other material. The outlines of rotted beams, piles and foundation trenches, indicate that they were erected in rec tangular blocks or insulce, each comprising four buildings. Of these, one faced the main road and the other three lay behind, with approaches from the side roads which bounded the insulce. Each building was provided with a loading platform, while that facing the road had also a space in front in which carts might draw up. This building was erected on a massive beam platform, embedded in the soil, to take heavy weights; but the remaining three were erected on piles to give the ventilation necessary to protect corn against the effects of damp. No other granaries such as these are known. Another building, also unique in character, lies on the other side of the road. It is a rectangular structure erected around a court. Each side consists of two rows of rooms, ranged in pairs. It is conjectured that these were the quarters of the police guarding the stores. Dr. Bushe-Fox describes the whole base camp as an unprecedented discovery. His account of the arrange ments for unloading and storing material had an almost disconcertingly modern note.

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