Archaeological Blogging; Inadmissible Evidence
To put forward a new solution to an archaeological puzzle is to imply that the existing explanations are wrong, and this is always difficult, and while the blog is not an ideal forum, it is at least equitable, free and accessible to all.
A full summery of this particular research is available here.
Geoff Carter 17/01/14
- The theoretical model is of a simple, but effective, timber rampart
- While the posts form the vertical elements, the spaces between them are occupied by horizontal timbers, creating both faces and the internal bracing.
- The rampart faces are created by trapping horizontal baulks between 3 rows of posts (Fig. 1D)
- Posts are tied together front to back (Fig. 1C)
- Great additional strength comes from triangular structure inherent in geometry of layout (8 roman foot centres – Fig. 1E)
- Creates very strong anti-wracking structure in the horizontal plan where any dynamic loading is to be expected. (Fig. 1F)
- This appears to be the remains of a prefabricated timber wall, constructed to protect sections of the wall under construction, then dismantled and moved.
- The design would be modular, with timber baulks of a size that facilitates their transport and handling.
- For ease of dismantling the spaces between timbers not necessarily filled with earth as would be the case in a ‘box’ rampart.
References and further reading
 This was originally proposed by Tim Darvill, in ’Neolithic houses in northwest Europe and beyond’’ (1996) Neolithic Houses in North-West Europe and beyond (Oxbow monograph 57) [Paperback]. T.C. Darvill (Editor), Julian Thomas (Editor); I have merely demonstrated he was correct.
 Grey literature: Shields Road, Newcastle, Phase 2b, archaeological excavation. TWM archaeology 10/2006
See also; Bidwell, Paul T.; Watson, Moira. 1989 'A Trial Excavation on Hadrian's Wall at Buddle Street, Wallsend'. Archaeologia Aeliana, 5th ser., 17 (1989), 21-28.
And; T. Frain, J. McKelvey & P. Bidwell 2005 Excavations and watching brief along the berm of Hadrian’s Wall at Throckley, Newcastle upon Tyne, in 2001-2002. Arbeia J, And Bidwell, P T, 2005 'The system of obstacles on Hadrian's Wall; their extent, date and purpose', Arbeia J, 8, 53-76. http://www.arbeiasociety.org.uk/journal.htm
Grey literature; Throckley, Newcastle upon Tyne, archaeological excavation and watching brief. TWM Archaeology 12/2003
 Bidwell, P T, 2005 'The system of obstacles on Hadrian's Wall; their extent, date and purpose', Arbeia J, 8, 53-76. http://www.arbeiasociety.org.uk/journal.htm
 Caius Julius Caesar "De Bello Gallico" and Other Commentaries English translation by W. A. MacDevitt, introduction by Thomas De Quincey (1915) http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/10657
 Breeze, D.J. 2003. "Warfare in Britain and the Building of Hadrian's Wall." Archaeologia Aeliana 32, 13 –16.
 The Military Institutions of the Romans (De Re Militari) by Flavius Vegetius Renatus, Translated from the Latin by Lieutenant John Clarke, translation published in 1767. Etext version by Mads Brevik (2001)