Reliquae Isurianae: the antiquarian and contemporary exploration of Roman Aldborough

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Reliquae Isurianae: the antiquarian and contemporary exploration of Roman Aldborough

October 29 @ 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm


Reliquae Isurianae: the antiquarian and contemporary exploration of Roman Aldborough

by Prof Martin Millet FSA

We have just completed the publication of a complete review of the archaeology of the Roman civitas capital of Isurium Brigantum (Aldborough, N Yorks). This work was supported by the Society and should be published as a society research report in late 2019 or early 2020. This proposed lecture is intended to be linked to the publication and to act as a launch event. It will pay particular attention to the analysis and re-interpretation of the antiquarian work on the site, showing how this can provide key insights when combined with selective re-excavation and survey.

The volume presents the results of an extensive geophysical survey of the site together with a review of the results of antiquarian work (from the late 17th century) as well as excavations in the 20th century. The site is of especial significance for antiquarian research in the period down to 1852 when Henry Ecroyd-Smith published his Reliquae Isurianae. Our work has made a significant contribution in re-interpreting the results of this early work in the context of our geophysical survey and selective re-excavation of old trenches. Further interest in the 19th century exploration of the site is provided by the ways in which these were integrated into an antiquarian garden part of which is preserved in the present English Heritage site. Included in this garden were inscriptions, architectural fragments and excavated buildings as well as a major quarry. Our work makes new sense of these and provides insights into the development of archaeology in the first half of the nineteenth century. Finally, our interpretation of the high resolution geophysical survey alongside the old excavation material enables us to present a new historical synthesis of the Roman town which has considerable implications for broader understanding of the Roman North. These include suggesting a different model for understanding Roman annexation of the region, and new insights into its late Roman and sub-Roman history.

Our Ordinary Meeting/Evening Lectures are Free for Fellows & their guests to attend but are £5 for non-Fellows. There are 20 places available at each lecture for non-fellows to book. 

Schedule for the evening detailed below: 

  • Refreshments are served from 4.20pm in the council room.
  • The meeting begins at 5pm with the lecture starting at approximately 5.10pm.
  • Lectures run for approximately 45min and are followed by a short Q&A.
  • Sherry is served in the Foyer following the lecture.

If you have any questions please contact our Communications Manager on [email protected]

Please note that due to COVID 19 restrictions we are unsure if this event will be held at Burlington House or just live streamed. Moving forward all our lectures will be live streamed so booking is recommended to recieve the live stream link. 

  • Registration is essential.
  • Once you have registered we will be in touch regarding how you can join via Zoom video-calling.
  • The event will also be live-streamed to YouTube here, so you can watch along if you prefer
  • Places through zoom will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • The event will begin at 17.00, GMT.

Get tickets online


October 29
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Event Categories:


Society of Antiquaries of London
Burlington House, Piccadilly
London, W1J 0BE United Kingdom
020 7479 7080


Society of Antiquaries of London
020 7479 7080