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ABONAE (Sea Mills) Bristol, England.

Situated 19.2 km NW of Bath (Aquae Sulis), near the mouth of the tidal river Avon (for which the settlement is named), a small harbor made by the confluence of the river Trym. Military artifacts indicate a fort on this site soon after the Roman invasion of A.D. 43. Stamped tiles of Legio II Augusta indicate a continuing military presence in the 2d c., perhaps supervising the shipping of supplies to garrisons in Wales. A civilian settlement also grew up, covering ca. 5.2 ha. The site was abandoned at the end of the Roman period.

The two known streets suggest an irregular grid originating at the end of the 1st c. A number of civilian buildings have been excavated, including a row of three shops with stone foundations succeeding earlier timber structures. The defenses have yet to be discovered. A cemetery S of the town, indicated by an inscribed tombstone (RIB 137), has been confirmed by excavation. Finds are in the City Museum, Bristol.


Various authors in Trans. Bristol and Gloucestershire Arch. Soc. 45 (1923) 193-201; 61 (1939) 202-23; 64 (1945) 258-95; R. Reece, “Roman Coins from Sea Mills,” ibid. 85 (1966) 218-20; A.L.F. Rivet, “The British Section of the Antonine Itinerary,” Britannia 1 (1970) 34-82 (for name).


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