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With a Spade on Stane Street

Nature volume 140, page 486 (18 September 1937) | Download Citation



STANE STREET, the Roman road running from Chichester to London, presents numerous problems, some of which have given rise to much controversy. The literature relating to it, in consequence, is considerable. Mr. Winbolt's contribution, however, cannot be regarded as in any way superfluous. Not only does he trace the road, field by field, in all its stages, but also he has submitted new and doubtful solutions for determining the line to the test of archaeological excavation, where the application of this method has been possible. His verdict, therefore, may be taken as final. It is unfortunate that excavation has been possible at two only of the mansiones, or road-side stations. At Ewell, between which town and London the road is usually regarded as non-existent, the author has boldly attempted a reconstruction of the Roman town upon lines which, while purely conjectural, are supported by cogent argument. Mr. Winbolt is a strong supporter of an early date for the road, and maintains that its importance was due not to military exigencies, but to its use for public and commercial purposes.

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