Building with turf at Roman Vindolanda: Multi-scalar analysis of earthen materials, construction techniques, and landscape context

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Abstract

Turf was widely used as a building material in the Roman period, especially in military architecture. Despite this, few studies have investigated properties of turf in construction, and fewer still have applied micromorphology to ancient turf walls. This study details the methods and results from a combined macro- and micro-scale analysis, using samples from the well-preserved ramparts at Vindolanda, a fort associated with Hadrian’s Wall. Our work not only proposes a refined methodology for the wider geoarchaeological study of turf walls, but also provides new, deeper insight into the properties of turf as a building material.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Archaeological Journal
Early online date29 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • turf walls
  • earth-based building materials
  • geoarchaeology
  • micromorphology
  • Roman military constructions
  • Hadrian's Wall

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