In a unique study, Allison has been analysing patterns of objects found throughout the [Roman] forts that support the presence of women.
“The distribution of lost and abandoned objects, tells us quite a lot of about where people go and how they use a space,” she says.
Using computer software, she has mapped the distribution of over 30,000 artefacts.
She found objects used by women, such as hairpins, beads, perfume bottles and spindle wheels scattered in buildings and along the streets of the forts.
“They all tend to group together in different parts of the fort,” she says.
The location of these objects suggest women often played an active life in the fort, says Allison, which might be better described as a functioning town with a market rather than a sterile male-only province.
She says women were well and truly integrated into the forts, playing “helpful” non-combatant roles of wives, mothers, craftspeople and traders.
(hat tip: rogueclassicism)