An exploration of what happened at the end of the Roman Period, and how the City became first deserted, and then a Saxon, German-speaking English City.
The first British Brexit? The Roman Britons kicked out the Romans in 407AD, and, soon, asked them to come back after a catastrophic collapse. Faced with plaque, civil war, invasion, mass immigration, industrial decline, reversion to barter; the authorities struggled against anarchy and descent into a Dark Age.
But was that how it was? Wasn’t it a rather a transition into the Late Antique period in which life for most people went on much as before except paying taxes to local rulers rather than distant Romans? This virtual walk explores why the Roman system in London broke down, and what really was the impact of the end of the Roman system in London?
What is the evidence? And can we trust it? Or can we really do nothing much more than guess?
We tramp the virtual streets of London in search of light to shine on the Dark Ages in London.
REVIEWS (AKA DON’T JUST TAKE IT FROM US)
“Kevin, I just wanted to drop you a quick email to thank you ever so much for your archaeological tours of London! I am so thrilled to have stumbled upon your tours! I have wanted to be an archaeologist since 1978 at the ripe old age of 8 years, when my father took me to the Dickson Mounds in Lewiston, Illinois, which was a Native American burial mound site. It has since been reburied, but a museum remains on site. I was lucky enough to see the full excavation before it was mandated to be reburied. I was told for years that I could not be an archaeologist [for any number of reasons, which I now realize are completely ridiculous!], so I ended up on a different course of study. And now at the age of 50, it is my one great regret in life. So, I am thoroughly enjoying living vicariously through you, the digs you’ve been on, and the history you bring to life for us! British archaeology would have been my specific area of study had I pursued it. Thank you SO MUCH for these! I look forward to them more than you can imagine, and honestly, I’ll be sad if you get them down to 1.5 hours! They’re the best 2 hours of my week! 🙂 Best, Sue S. Denver, Colorado”
“Hi, Kevin, Thank you for today’s virtual walk. I was able to access the link with no problems. Your cache of historical pictures, maps, and illustrations is enormous and wonderful, and I was glad to have been given the chance to view them. I am reminded yet again of why I always return to Britain and to Europe; the USA has many wonderful places and gorgeous scenery, but, let’s face it, we don’t have the history. The earliest artifact that shows the human influence that I’ve yet seen on this side of the ocean is a 17th-century wooden door from Deerfield, Massachusetts, that shows cuts and scars made by the French and Indian attackers during the Deerfield Massacre of 1704. Just not the same time scale as the Roman walls and the medieval buildings of Britain. and not the same level of cultural or engineering achievement. I was not surprised but am saddened that (London?) University is dropping Chaucer and replacing it with a race and gender module. But it’s a sign of the times – I’m just glad I got my education when I did. Still remember what a revelation, joy, and adventure it was to be exposed to Milton, the language of the King James Bible, Spencer, John Donne, the 17th-century poets, et al. – the foundations of the English language. A very long answer to your request to let you know how it went. It went beautifully, in terms both of access and content. Jan M.”
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