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CALLEVA ATREBATUM

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  SILCHESTER ROMAN TOWN, CALLEVA ATREBATVM, SILCHESTER
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The Late Iron Age oppidum and Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum. The earliest phase of occupation dating to the late Iron Age shows evidence of street planning, traces of circular and rectangular buildings, metalworking, including the working of precious metals and contacts within Britain and on the continent to France, Italy, Spain and the Mediterranean. Coin evidence names leaders, Tincomarus, Eppillus and Veria supporting evidence this was the centre of the Atrebates. After 43 AD the settlement became the centre of the client kingdom of Cogidubnus, later the centre for the Roman administrative county of the Atrebates. It then comprised a regular grid street plan with public buildings including baths, temples a forum basilica, a mansio (inn for travellers) and an amphitheatre. Housing ranged from high status town houses to timber-framed buildings. The recovery of military equipment has been interpreted as evidence for a possible fort; however, no structural features of a fort have yet been recorded. By the later third century AD the stone town wall had been built, replacing an earlier earthen bank and the basilica downgraded to an industrial hall used for metalworking and a mint. Other late Roman evidence includes a possible church. Occupation of the town continued into the beginning of the fifth century, possibly extending to the late sixth-early seventh century. The reasons for abandonment are not yet known but involved the deliberate backfilling of wells with building material, either as part of a policy of discouraging the return of people evicted against their will, or the systematic reclamation of land for cultivation through demolition of buildings and infilling of residual hollows left by pits and wells. The site is in the care of English Heritage.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.