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BAGINTON Warwickshire, England.

Roman fort called The Lunt (SP344752), an almost vertical wooded escarpment above the river Sowe, S of which is a flat plateau. To E and W the ground slopes appreciably, making the site an ideal location for a Roman fort. The Roman road now called the Fosse Way is ca. 7 km to the S.

The Lunt was discovered in 1960; subsequent excavations have defined its occupation as ca. A.D. 60-80. The foundation date would therefore be the year of the rebellion of Queen Boudicca, not of the initial Roman conquest. There were at least four main periods of occupation. The first military occupation was very extensive and came during or immediately after the Boudiccan revolt. After the suppression of the revolt the garrison was reduced to a cohors quingenaria peditata of auxiliary troops, and a 1.2 ha fort built. Subsequently, as the political situation was resolved, the fort was further reduced in size to less than 1 ha, some time before the final abandonment ca. A.D. 80. However, there is some structural evidence to suggest temporary military reoccupation early in the 2d c.

The 1966-73 excavations have, in the main, been an examination of the Period 2 fort. its defenses, as with most 1st c. Roman forts in Britain, comprised a ditch system backed by a turf and timber rampart with three gates. The E gate, porta principalis sinistra, has been extensively excavated, and 45.72 m of the turf and timber rampart has been reconstructed. The most interesting aspect of the defenses is the sinuosity on the E side. Excavation within the fort has shown that this unique S-shape arose from the construction of a circular structure 32 m in diameter. Arena features of this size are not usually found within the defenses of Roman forts, and direct parallels for this structure have not as yet been found. it could possibly have been connected with the breaking of horses or with individual weapon training. its boundary was marked by a timber palisade or fence.

Elsewhere within the fort the buildings were also constructed of timber with a wattle and daub lining. The principia is in the normal position, at the T junction of the via principalis and via praetoria. Within the sacellum an unusual pit-cellar was discovered, which had been built to store the garrison's pay chest. Four granaries and six barrack blocks have been excavated, and over 100 rubbish pits and water storage tanks containing stratified artifacts, principally coins, pottery, glass, military equipment. One exceptional object was a bowl of black burnished ware of eggshell thinness polished to a fine luster, with a central pedestal or finial in the interior, a feature which could be a copy of a finial on late Hellenistic silver vessels from italy.

There are no non-military Roman buildings but there is ample evidence of continued occupation within the village of Baginton, presumably purely civil, well into the 4th c.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

“Baginton,” Current Archaeology 1, 4 (1967-68) 86-89; B. Hobley, “An Experimental Reconstruction of a Roman Military Turf Rampart,” Proc. Seventh International Congress of Roman Frontier Studies (1967)MPI; id., “A Neronian-Vespasianic Military Site at ‘The Lunt,’ Baginton, Warwickshire,” Trans. Birmingham Arch. Soc. 83 (1969) 65-129MPI; id., “The Lunt Roman Fort, Baginton, Warwickshire. Excavations 1966-70,” Britannia 2 (1971) 262I; id., “Excavations at ‘The Lunt’ Roman Military Site, Baginton, Warwickshire, 1968-70—II interim Report,” Trans. Birmingham Arch. Soc. 85 (1971)MPI; “The Lunt,” Current Archaeology 3, 24 (1971) 16-21; Britannia 3 (1972) 318-19P.

B. HOBLEY

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