Roman soldiers and the Roman army: A study of military life from archaeological remains

Rikke Deanne Giles, University of Pennsylvania


Archaeologists and historians have discovered much about the Roman army in Britain. However, archaeological remains found at Roman military sites have seldom been combined with the concepts and methods of New and Processual archaeology. This combination of data and theoretical orientation is utilized in this study to produce new insights about the lives of the inhabitants of Roman military sites and their surrounding communities. A methodology was developed which used computers to analyze the wealth of archaeological data from Roman military sites in northern Britain by standardizing the layout of Roman army installations, and entering artifacts found during excavation of those installations into a database. Inspired by the pattern recognition methodology developed by S. South, the artifacts in the database were organized into functional groups by computer scripts. The patterns within and among those functional groups varied by period of occupation and location within the Roman installations. Concepts proposed by M. B. Schiffer concerning the formation of the archaeological record were used to explain these patterns. Questions about activity areas, refuse disposal, gender and status of installation inhabitants were answered. The computerized methodology developed should prove useful for future studies.

Subject Area

Archaeology|European history|Ancient history

Recommended Citation

Giles, Rikke Deanne, "Roman soldiers and the Roman army: A study of military life from archaeological remains" (2008). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3328561.