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‘Becoming Roman – Silchester, a Town of Change’ on at Basingstoke’s Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery until April 28





A museum exhibition that documents Silchester’s evolution from an Iron Age settlement into a bustling Roman town will be on display until the end of this month.

‘Becoming Roman – Silchester, a Town of Change’ is currently on show at Basingstoke’s Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery and it contains a treasure trove of objects meticulously unearthed during archaeological excavations, offering a glimpse into the daily lives, customs and societal dynamics of the area’s ancient inhabitants.

Objects on display in 'Becoming Roman – Silchester, a Town of Change' at the Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery in Basingstoke, until April 28, 2024
Objects on display in 'Becoming Roman – Silchester, a Town of Change' at the Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery in Basingstoke, until April 28, 2024

Silchester, initially established by an offshoot of the Atrebates tribe from northern France, flourished as an Iron Age town.

However, with the advent of Roman influence, the landscape of Silchester underwent remarkable change, marking a significant chapter in its history.

Professor of archaeology Michael Fulford said: “It is wonderful to contribute to an exhibition which showcases some of the great discoveries from the University of Reading’s excavations at Silchester.”

Among the artifacts on display are a skeleton of what is believed to be Britain’s first lap dog, buried with reverence indicative of its owner’s esteemed status.

Other highlights include terracotta floor tiles bearing the imprints of ancient feet, gemstone carvings, a restored large grain storage jar and a Nero-stamped roof tile.

The exhibition contains interactive sections to engage people of all ages as well as a look into the excavation of the site that uncovered all these historical objects.

Admission into ‘Becoming Roman – Silchester, a Town of Change’ is free and the exhibition lasts until April 28.

Following this, it will embark on a tour to the Red House Museum in Christchurch, Andover Museum, Reading Museum and Reading University Library.



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