Those of you that had the misfortune to be taught by me in Year Seven will of course remember that it was the Romans who brought urban living to Britain. Well it seems, perhaps not for the first time, I might be wrong. The University of Reading’s Silchester dig (see earlier posts) have found evidence of an Iron Age town built on a grid and signs inhabitants had access to imported wine and olive oil. In the Daily Telegraph article from the 18th August, Professor Fulford comments “The people of Iron Age Silchester appear to have adopted an urbanised Roman way of living. They did this all before the Romans had arrived. It is remarkable to find this evidence of an Iron Age layout before the arrival of the Romans and the development of a planned Roman town. It would be hard to see a significant difference between the lifestyles of the inhabitants of the Iron Age town and its successor in the 1st century AD.”
There is a longer BBC article here, which also suggests that a layer of burned soil might mean that Calleva Atrebatum was the fourth city burnt by Queen Boudicca. It also links to the Digging for Britain Television programme page. There will be a programme on the Iron Age town in September.