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WORK OF GIANTS: Stone and Quarrying In Roman Britain
Bibliophile price: £4.00
The balance between stone and alternative materials, principally timber but also walling mediums such as cob and wattle, were all in common usage during the Iron Age. Roman society demanded stone on an unprecedented scale, and the province of Britannia was no exception. Widespread building in masonry is one of the factors that distinguishes the Roman period in Britain from preceding eras, and from the so-called Dark Ages that followed. Quarrying was an essential part providing materials for military, civil and private structures, often on a massive scale. The ruins of Roman buildings continue to provoke intense interest and study. However the extraction and supply of rock which underpinned ancient construction in Britain is a much-neglected subject. This book redresses the balance and outlines the historical development of stone use, the products, organisation and people associated with the industry. It is a practical study from procurement at the rock face through to the transport of stone to the building site. We discover quarries and quarrymen, native supplies, exotic imports and look at case studies like the Saxon Shore forts a group of 11 which spanned much of the 3rd century at Brancaster, Reculver and Pevensey along the Essex coast. Although Jurassic Oolitic rocks are undoubtedly high-quality stone, Magnesian Limestone is just as serviceable for all but fine carving and Millstone Grit was readily accessible to the builders of Roman York. 25 colour photographs and dozens of maps and illustrations in the text. 160pp in large softback.

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