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Provenance of Coals from Roman Sites in England and Wales

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 November 2011

A.H.V. Smith
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Sheffield


Coal has been widely reported from excavations of the Roman period. Although there are few contemporary accounts of its use by the Romans, it is obvious from the contexts of the finds that it was used for a variety of purposes having been recovered in association with, for example, metal-working activities, hypocausts, and a cremation pyre. Archaeologists have been interested in the economic aspects of coal as a fuel and in particular the provenance of the coals in order to reveal the existence of trade routes and the distances involved in its transport.

Britannia , Volume 28 , November 1997 , pp. 297 - 324
Copyright © A.H.V. Smith 1997. Exclusive Licence to Publish: The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies

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47 ibid.

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