Professor David Breeze OBE, BA, PhD, Hon DLitt, FSA, Hon FSA Scot, FRSE, Hon CIfA
Hadrian’s Wall: A Study in Archaeological Exploration and Interpretation
Hadrian’s Wall was written about even when it was still in use as a frontier. Interest continued through the next 1000 years, but it was the spirit of enquiry generated by the Renaissance which led to more focussed study. Once archaeological excavations started, the pace quickened. Now we have an enormous data base even though only about 5% of the Wall has been examined. To understand our interpretations of Hadrian’s Wall today, it is necessary to start in the 1840s, and in particular consider the work and influence of John Collingwood Bruce (Rhind lecturer in 1883). The first two lectures in this series of six will review the excavations and surveys, theories and flights of fancy since that decade. The next two lectures concentrate on the different phases of activity on the Wall and through them seek understanding of how the Wall operated. The impact of the Wall on local people and the landscape is the subject of the fifth lecture, while in the final talk the state of Hadrian’s Wall today is considered, with time for questions.
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