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MEDIOLANUM (Whitchurch) Shropshire, England.

Site of a Roman town known from both the Antonine Itinerary and the Ravenna Cosmography although confirmation of its location at Whitchurch awaited excavations in 1965-66. These demonstrated that the line of the present High Street marked the line of the Roman road from Wroxeter to Chester and formed the axis of the Roman settlement. The various phases may be summarized.

1) Initial occupation in the form of timber buildings probably predating A.D. 75 and associated with the period of legionary occupation at Wroxeter, which ended in deliberate dismantling. 2) Flavian auxiliary fort from ca. A.D. 75 on, identified by discovery of the W defenses. Demolished shortly after A.D. 100. 3) Gradual development of the site as a civilian settlement. By the mid-2d c. much of the excavated area was covered by timber buildings, many of an industrial character. 4) The town's prosperity reached its height in the 3d c. when substantial stone structures testify to the expansion of the town area. 5) By the later 4th c. the site was in decline. Settlement appears to have contracted along the line of the present High Street and recognizable urban life does not appear to have survived the end of the century. The area of Sedgeford S of the town marks the site of a 1st and 2d c. cemetery. A skeleton of a young man with a trepanned skull was found inserted beneath a floor of a building in the town; it dates to the first quarter of the 4th c. Finds from the excavation and earlier discoveries are housed in the Manchester University and Whitchurch museums.


G.D.B. Jones & P. V. Webster, “Excavations at Whitchurch,” ArchJ 125 (1968) 193ffMPI.


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