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Durham University

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Image: Life of an Ancient Monument: HadrianHingley, R., Witcher, R.E. & Nesbitt, C. (2012). Life of an Ancient Monument: Hadrian's Wall in History. Antiquity 86(333): 760-771.

Author(s) from Durham


The Romans are Britain's favourite invaders, and Hadrian's Wall is among the largest and finest of the relics they left behind on the island. However, as our authors urge, we should demand more intellectual depth from our monuments today. Not simply a cultural asset anchored in the Roman empire, Hadrian's Wall had a busy afterlife, a material history reflecting the uses, attitudes and emotions of later centuries. Its ‘biography’ not only captures new information about the last two millennia, it offers a story that the modern visitor deserves to hear.