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A civilian settlement ('vicus') would develop outside every Roman fort. While soldiers were not allowed to marry, most would have an unofficial family living here. A computer-generated model conveys what it will have looked like.

A tombstone of the wife of a soldier is examined, as is a precious gold ring, possibly the earliest Christian object in Roman Britain. The many things we can learn from found objects about their former owners is considered.
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First broadcast:
26 February 2008

Classroom Ideas

The clip is useful for students as it conveys the fullness of life on Hadrian's Wall. It can be used to examine the services and comforts soldiers had access to in the civilian settlements which grew up beside the forts. It is also helpful to explain the ways in which archaeological evidence can help reconstruct ancient lives. It could encourage students to find out more about other artefacts that have been found near Hadrian's Wall or in their locality, and their usefulness in trying to establish stories. This is the third of four clips about Hadrian's Wall.

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