Archaeology, University of Leicester
Roman Britain was a rural provice. That the majority of the citizens lived in rural comunities is undisputed. However, much of what is known of the province during the Roman period is concerned with those aspects that are related to Roman culture in Britain. This changed in the last two decades with extensive excavations being undertaken into the rural landscape of Roman Britain and the subsequent results being published.
This research is a continuation of this increase in interest in the rural communities of Roman Britain. My thesis is an investigation into the Southern region of Roman Britain across the four centuries of Roman rule in the province. The thesis will investigate rural communities across the region, from the eastern county of modern-day Kent to the far edges of Dorset. My thesis seeks to understand how these different communities lived, how their economies functioned, the impact of material culture on their lives and how their religious/ritualistic activities shaped their world-view. In doing so, this thesis will seek to understand how both the Roman presences and their own cosmology impacted upon and the rural communities and the ways in which the Romans in Britain had to adapt to the lived reality on the ground. A diachronic analysis will also show how these different rural communities underwent significant changes throughout the four centuries of Roman rule. The way in which Roman imperialism impacted on these communities, as well as the way in which these communities developed or adapted their existing cosmologies to face these new challenges is the central concern of this thesis.