Fabric of the Frontier: Prospection, use, and re-use of stone from Hadrian’s Wall


This volume, an output of the WallCAP project (2018-2022), directly and successfully addresses historic disconnects between archaeological and geological studies of Hadrian’s Wall. It presents a thoughtful and accessible study into how consideration of the Wall’s geological complexity can enhance understandings of its construction, function, and biography. The volume first contextualises the WallCAP project and the ‘Wall basics’, such as the chronology and techniques of its construction. The authors then examine the various geological strata comprising the Wall’s landscape, and methodologies for their petrological analysis. Evidence for quarrying is then considered, with particular focus on how the location and extraction of stone sources influenced the Wall’s construction. Finally, post-Roman reuse of the Wall’s stonework is mapped, and its often-overlooked value for understanding the Wall’s structure and appearance highlighted. The plentiful colour illustrations immerse the reader, with Matilde Grimaldi’s wonderful reconstruction drawings proving particularly evocative. This volume is highly recommended for anyone interested in the Wall and its landscape.

Rob Collins, Ian Kille, and Kathleen O’Donnell
Oxbow, £50
ISBN 978-1789259506