Life and Death in a Roman City (Paperback)
The cemeteries around Roman Gloucester remain as windows through which the past populations of the town and preceding fortresses may be studied. Excavations by Oxford Archaeology in London Road between 2004 and 2006 revealed substantial parts of one of these cemeteries, at Wotton, lying by one of the main Roman roads east of the town. In addition to the nine cremation and 64 inhumation burials, a rare mass grave was found of at least 91 individuals, possibly victims of the Antonine Plague which swept the Roman Empire during the later 2nd century AD. This report analyses the burials for what they can tell us of the origins, health, status and funerary practices of the people living in Gloucester from the 1st to 4th century AD. The development of the Wotton cemetery itself is also studied, using evidence from excavations undertaken from the 19th century onwards.The current investigations also unearthed vertebrate deposits in the gravel cap dating to the Pleistocene, including hippopotamus and possibly bison and elephant. The significance of this assemblage in terms of the local geology is discussed.