The Roman Town at Silchester, Calleva Atrebatum, was a working archaeological dig – the University of Reading Field School – which took place every summer until 2014. Then, the dig was filled in, for future archaeologists to dig up again in the future.
Taking advantage of the last opportunity to record ‘life on the dig’ in 2014, artist Jenny Halstead spent the summer creating and collating material for a beautiful and historically important book.
Jenny’s superior draughtsmanship, her eye for colour and her wide variety of techniques have produced evocative, lively images of life “on the dig” to illustrate Michael’s fascinating account of the archaeological purpose of the project and the process by which it was conducted. From excavating, washing and cleaning the finds to teaching and arranging student entertainment, the final summer of the Town Life Project is captured here in all its richness – a fitting and enduring record of this historic episode in the life of an ancient city.
About the authors
Jenny Halstead studied fine art and subsequently trained and followed a career as a medical artist, contributing to many publications, among them several editions of Gray’s Anatomy. In collaboration with her late husband, she illustrated numerous books on dinosaurs and fossils. Her An Artist’s Year in the Harris Garden was published (2013) by TRP. This new book combines her skills as a painter and an illustrator.
Michael Fulford is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Reading where he was first appointed as lecturer in 1974. In that year he undertook his first excavation at Silchester. 2014 saw the concluding season of the 18 year excavation on Insula IX – The Town Life Project – which is the subject of this book
- Silchester: Life on the Dig
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