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Keywords:

  • waterscapes;
  • settlement archaeology;
  • Roman towns;
  • materiality;
  • urban experience;
  • Lincoln

This paper highlights the ways in which components of waterscapes—rivers, lakes, pools, wetlands and waterfronts—formed elements of the urban fabric in the Roman period. Urban archaeology has focused mainly on features relating to land, while nautical archaeology, studying rivers, ports and harbours, trade and seafaring, reminds us of the importance of watery contexts. By examining waterscapes in the urban setting we can start to break down some of the traditional dichotomies in archaeology between land and water. Water could form an integral part of the lived environment and acquire cultural meanings that can be studied archaeologically.

© 2012 The Author