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Caerleon Legionary Fortress


Excavations at Roman Isca


Since 2006, archaeologists have been undertaking a series of surveys and new research excavations at Caerleon. This website gives details of past, present and future work at the fortress of Isca, home of the Legion II Augusta for nearly 300 years during the Roman occupation of Britain.

An aerial view of Caerleon
An aerial view of Caerleon


Excavations in 2011: Caerleon's 'Lost City' of the Legion


Cardiff University recently undertook trial excavations in the area of newly-discovered monumental buildings outside the fortress, on the banks of the River Usk. This area of settlement outside of the walls (known as the canabae to the Romans) might be a major harbour facility, or a series of official and/or religious buildings.

Read about the discoveries made in 2011 on the dig blog!

Read the 2011 excavation blog

Follow CaerleonDig on Twitter

More about the background to the dig

This project, directed by Dr Peter Guest, is generously supported by Cardiff University, the Roman Research Trust, the Haverfield Bequest (University of Oxford), Newport City Council and many members of the Caerleon Community.


Priory Field Excavations 2007-2010


Cardiff University and UCL undertook a series of excavations in Priory Field, in the southern part of the fortress enclosure, between 2007-2010. After one season of trial excavations in 2007, this project focused on the examination of one wing of a large, square warehouse building. During the summers of 2008 and 2010, this building gave up many of its secrets, including a great deal of information about the equipment of the legionaries, and also an important story of late and post-Roman life in Caerleon.

Although this dig has now been completed, this website will be updated with reports of our progress in looking at the finds in more detail over coming months.

This project, directed by Dr Peter Guest and Dr Andrew Gardner, has been generously supported by Cadw, Cardiff University, UCL, National Roman Legion Museum, and many members of the Caerleon community.

Read about the on-going conservation of our major find of Roman armour at the
National Museum Cardiff

See some of the finds from 2010

Read the 2010 excavation blog

More on the project's background

An aerial view of Caerleon, with the 2008 trench in the centre (Courtesy Stewart Ainsworth)
An aerial view of Caerleon, with the 2008 trench in the centre (Courtesy Stewart Ainsworth)


Open Day activities, 2010

Open Day activities in 2010 (above) and 2008 (below)


Open Day activities, 2008


Useful Links


Caerleon.net: www.caerleon.net
Caerleon Research Committee: www.cf.ac.uk/hisar/archaeology/crc/
Cardiff School of History, Archaeology & Religion: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/share/index.html
Cadw: www.cadw.wales.gov.uk
Council for British Archaeology: www.britarch.ac.uk
Festival of British Archaeology: festival.britarch.ac.uk/index.php
National Roman Legion Museum: www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/caerleon
UCL Institute of Archaeology: www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology


Publications


Gardner, A. and Guest, P. 2010. Exploring Roman Caerleon: new excavations at the legionary fortress of Isca. Archaeology International 12, 47-51

Gardner, A. and Guest, P. 2009. 'Fortress Isca: A mighty Roman garrison', Current Archaeology 226, 31-37.

Guest, P and Young, T. 2006 'Mapping Isca: geophysical investigation of Priory Field, Caerleon', Archaeologia Cambrensis 155, 117-33.


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