The Durotriges Project: Rethinking Late Iron Age Dorset

Authors: Russell, M.

Start date: 16 November 2019

The idea that an invading Roman army brought about the end of hillforts in south‐west Britain, using artillery fire to defeat the warlike Durotriges tribe of Dorset, is one of the most powerful narratives in British archaeology. At the heart of the story is the evidence recovered by Mortimer Wheeler during excavations conducted at Maiden Castle, between 1936–7, and Ian Richmond at Hod Hill, between 1951-8. Reanalysis to the archives, however, has demonstrated that the popular battle‐theory is wholly unsupported by the archaeological evidence. This work, combined with a new programme of survey and excavation, is helping to construct an alternative picture of the Durotriges within the context of Late Iron Age Britain.

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