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The Construction of Hadrian's Wall

P.R. Hill
Publication Year:
248pp. Includes 12 black and white plates, 100 figures, maps, drawings and plans, 24 tables
ISBN 10:
BAR number:


Many scholars have examined the building of Hadrian's Wall from the viewpoints of the order of construction and the responsibility of each legion for particular structures and lengths of curtain wall. Others have examined the design of the Wall and its structural elements. This book is concerned largely with the practical aspects of the physical construction of the Wall. Its purpose is to examine all of the processes necessary to build the Wall, rather than simply the work of putting one stone on another. The line had to be surveyed and the infrastructure and support services had to be set up; the principal relevant operations included quarrying, stone dressing, and lime burning, with the subsidiary operations of sand and water supply, scaffolding, and transport. Each is treated separately before consideration of the techniques of actually building the Wall. The digging of the Vallum and the ditch is discussed, and the addition of the forts and other changes to the programme are included. Organisational aspects arising from the study, such as the hours of work, the potential labour force, and a theoretical rate of working are grouped together in a later chapter. The study is confined to the curtain wall and turrets, and the defences of the milecastles and forts, on Hadrian's Stone Wall, and so far as possible all examples of Roman techniques are taken from the Wall and its immediate locality.