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Durham University

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A capital landscape: survey of the Stanwick ‘oppidum’ and its environs

A research project of the Department of Archaeology.


Stanwick, Yorkshire is recognised as comparable to the Late Iron Age complexes (known as oppida) in southern Britain. Often argued as the capital of Cartimandua (a client queen of Rome), the site saw a major research project undertaken in the 1980s/90s by Colin Haselgrove (University of Leicester) which has provided a clearer appreciation of the chronology and nature of activity at the site.
New work, led by Dr Tom Moore, is seeking to build on this earlier research by applying methodologies applied by the Department’s other examination of Late Iron Age oppida. Recognising these complexes should probably be seen more as polyfocal sites (Moore 2012), this approach suggests they need to be examined within a broader landscape context. In order to do this high-resolution geophysics is being undertaken of the complex and it immediate environs.

Results and prospects

As part of survey training for Durham students, small areas of geophysics have been completed outside the Stanwick enclosure. So far, these have revealed evidence of settlement and trackways. This survey work is currently continuing.


From the Department of Archaeology