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Sections 2-4: Background and Approach

In comparison with many branches of the archaeological discipline a surprising wealth of remains of settlement sites is available to Roman archaeology, not only from urban sites but also rural sites and, most notably, military sites. In addition, many of these sites can be identified as those discussed by ancient authors. Not only do these sites provide a wealth of structural remains but often they also have large quantities of artefacts, such as pottery and other small finds with relatively good contexts, which can add to our understanding of these sites and to their role in our understanding of social behaviour in the Roman world.

Roman military sites are well known and important strategic components in the expansion and maintenance of the Roman Empire. However, they also constitute the living spaces for a range of different people, not just soldiers and officers but also various service staff and combatants' families.

Section 2: Introduction to studies of social life in Roman military space (by P.M. Allison)

2.1 Introduction to archaeological research: Archaeological research into Roman military sites has been concerned with relationships of the fort occupants with those in settlements outside. Investigations of relationships within the fort, or fortress, have predominantly relied on the structural remains.

2.2 Introduction to textual and epigraphical information: Textual and epigraphical research has provided more information on the social life of Roman military sites than has the archaeological evidence and, in some recent studies, on the spatial arrangements of social relations.

2.3 Artefact studies at Roman military sites: The most studied classes of artefacts from Roman military installations are military equipment and pottery. More recent studies have highlighted the significance of artefacts such as fibulae (brooches), shoes and gaming items in camp life.

Section 3: Introduction to artefact assemblages studies in Roman archaeology (by P.M. Allison)

3.1 Artefact assemblage studies in Roman domestic space: My research into the distribution of artefacts in Pompeian houses provides the background for this investigation of artefact distribution within military fortifications.

3.2 Categorising artefacts at Roman military sites: Ascribing functional and gender categories to artefacts is problematic and this study attempts to deal with this.

Section 4: The Roman Fortress of Vetera I (by P.M. Allison)

The double legionary fortress of Vetera I was occupied from c. 13 BCE to 69/70 CE. The final stone-built fortress was probably built only a few years before its demise. It was excavated in the early 20th century and its artefact catalogue published in 1995.

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