Research
 
LIVING HISTORY

Living history & experimental archaeology are relatively new disciplines that have grown out of the academic/research side of historical re-enactment, many archaeologists, television production units and authors now regularly consult re-enactment groups and individuals on a range of subjects

Britannia's living history section started in 1995, five years after the group's foundation.

It consisted of an awning over a table of artifacts and some reconstructed objects that the public could handle and discuss.

Since then it's grown and includes a large tented encampment with blacksmith, carpenter, wood-turner, leatherworker and occasionally weaving is demonstrated. Recently we have been lucky enough to show a shield painter who uses pigments that were available in the later Roman period and a Roman field surgeon. The codex or bound book became more common in the later Roman & Byzantine period and one of our members has also specialized in producing these (also in materials available in this period) at shows.

Providing the requirement doesn't clash with a Britannia show the shield painter, wood-turner, book-binder and field surgeon can be booked separately for presentations.

The living history section is often adapted to suit the context of our gladiatorial events, the various craftspeople gear up for the repair and maintenance of gladiatorial equipment, the surgeon can 'operate' on wounded gladiators (using sickeningly real prosthetics) and the carpenter makes wooden practice swords for the gladiators to use.

We always strive to have large tables on which arms and armour are presented for the public to handle and our presenters are friendly, knowledgable and outgoing.

Occasionally we have traders and guests at our shows, people like Roman cook Sally Grainger and authentic traders Steve and Fiona Wagstaff serve to enhance our encampment and as guests are available to be booked separately.

Members of a gladiatorial school enjoy lunch
Fixing curragh seams with pitch as described by St Brendan (Gloucester)
A Christian woman at Lullingstone Villa
Book binding a 5th Century AD Codex
The armoury
Stylized later Roman imagery
Roman re-curve bows with a modern longbow
Weft & warp clearly illustrated
Britannia's columns
A 1st Century noblewoman
Painting a shield with authentic pigments
 

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