#MuseumFromHome – Day 213

Posted by Tenby Museum on Nov 5, 2020 Blog No Comments

Day 213 of our #MuseumFromHome project and today we look at Romano-British finds including a 1st century lekythos (oil or perfume bottle) found in Brecon, coin hoards found at Fishguard and near Narberth and a small 2nd century Roman amphora found locally.

The Iron Age and the British prehistoric period came to an end with the arrival of the Romans. The Romans had first come to Britain under Julius Caesar in 55BC but they did not settle. They successfully invaded Britain in 43 AD. They reached the borders of Wales in 48 AD. Most of Wales had been conquered by 74 – 78 AD. At least thirty auxiliary forts were established in Wales. These are linked by straight roads and situated a days march from each other.

A fort was built at Carmarthen (Moridunum) in about 75AD. The area was policed from here. By the 2nd century Carmarthen was an established town. It acted as the administrative capital for the area. Carmarthen is significant as a symbol of Roman success in persuading people on the fringes of the Roman world to accept their customs and ideas. A Roman amphitheatre can be seen in Carmarthen today.

Local people would have identified increasingly with Roman Empire fashions and attitudes. Power and wealth was shown through elaborate buildings and prestige goods. Some earlier settlements developed into sophisticated farms or villas.

The artefacts here and on display at the museum reveal that even the less wealthy would have had a change in much of their material culture such as glassware, pottery and ornaments. Their homes however may have stayed much the same after Romanisation. At this time Wales also became part of a money-using economy for the first time.