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Exploring Archaeology in Roman Southwark

By 24/09/2021November 28th, 2022News

An online discussion via Zoom on Monday 18th October 2021, beginning at 7pm at The Rose Playhouse.

Ireneo Grosso will be joined by Chris Constable (Southwark Archaeology) and Antonietta Lerz (MoLA) to discuss the results of our recent excavation of a Romano-British cemetery carried out at Suffolk House, Great Suffolk Street.

Following an evaluation in 2019, a full-scale excavation of a large basement was undertaken, revealing a Roman cemetery which produced 64 skeletons including both adult and juvenile, men and women, and 5 cremations. Most of the graves had evidence of wooden coffins, with iron nails around the base of the graves. The grave goods recovered included a spectacular 3rd-4th century grass bottle with ‘dolphins handles’ (below) and other complete vessels, some containing cremations.

There were some interesting burials, including a chalk burial and a grave lined with large sherds of amphora. Some individuals had their head cut off and placed next to the legs or underneath the torso and three had their hands tied behind their backs.

Chris, Ireneo and Antonietta will also look back at our excavation at Harper Road which uncovered the skeletal remains of an adult, probably female, buried in a stone sarcophagus. The Harper Road sarcophagus formed the centrepiece of a temporary exhibition, Roman Dead, held at the Museum of London Docklands between May and October 2018.

They will also discuss the astonishing recent discovery that the lower part of the statue of King Alfred in Trinity Church Square, previously thought to be medieval or later, dates to the late first or early second century and probably originated at our temple complex site at Tabard Square.

Tickets are £6 (reduced for Friends of The Rose and students) – click here to book through Trybooking.


The Harper Road sarcophagus in situ