A decision was made in 1889 to undertake excavations at the Roman town of Silchester in order to reveal for the first time the complete plan of a Roman town. Within a period of 20 years (1890-1909) a programme of excavations under the auspices of the Society of Antiquaries of London revealed a plan of all masonry-founded buildings within the walled area of the town. At the time this was understood to represent a complete plan of the Roman town, a belief which rested on the assumption that all the buildings were constructed of masonry, or at least had masonry foundations, and that the town walls enclosed everything of significance, apart from the amphitheatre. Within a period of twenty years (1890-1909) a programme of excavations under the auspices of the Society of Antiquaries of London revealed a plan of all the stone buildings within the walled area of the Roman town. Up until now little was known about the methodology by which the Victorian and Edwardian excavators achieved their goal, but the results of the Silchester Town Life excavations, Insula III and future work planned at the bath house are beginning to provide some evidence.
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