The earliest recorded find from Piercebridge, the Roman crossing over the River Tees, was a stash of silver coins found in 1792. It was a hint of what would subsequently emerge when two divers, Rolfe Mitchinson and Bob Middlemass, began to explore the river in the 1980s. This book is an 18-year study of the thousands of artefacts recovered from the water at Piercebridge, the site of a Roman fort, busy settlement, and the bridge carrying Dere Street over the Tees. The book begins by looking at object depositions and bridges in the Roman world, moving on to describe the archaeological context of the finds from Piercebridge, before analysis of the finds themselves. It concludes with comparisons of the Piercebridge finds to those discovered elsewhere. Beautifully illustrated throughout, Eckardt and Walton do a tremendous job in successfully bringing together analysis of everything from coins to military seals and harness pendants for horses. This is an essential read for anyone who is interested in exploring the relationship between the Romans and the offerings they made to the rivers.
Review by Andrew Tibbs.
Bridge Over Troubled Water: the Roman finds from the River Tees at in context, Hella Eckardt and Philippa J Walton, Roman Society Publications, £30, ISBN 978-0907764489.