Old Sarum Revealed

On December 3rd, 2014 the BBC reported on new discoveries found at the sight of Old Sarum, an Iron Age fort. Old Sarum is located a scant two miles away from Salisbury in Wiltshire, because it was the original site of Salisbury. Old Sarum was established in the 400s and remained in use as a major English site until the thirteenth century, when it lost its influence due to the construction of New Sarum (modern day Salisbury). It was known to archeologists and historians that there was a town of some sort at this location but there had never before been any plans to reveal the makeup of the site. Due to the use of ground penetrating radar, electric resistivity tomography and other new scientific tools by the University of Southampton many buildings of Old Sarum have been revealed, giving more insight into the importance and context of this time. Historians have known that Old Sarum was a site of ecclesiastical and political influence until the thirteenth century but with the new information that has been discovered archeologists and historians now know that the cathedral and palace were set in the center of a bustling medieval city.

Additionally, having more information about this site will allow archeologists and historians to gain more insight into Roman, Saxon, and Norman cultures and how they interacted with each other in the context of British culture. This insight will be possible because the sight was touched by all three powers during its time of importance, which will be reflected in the buildings and layout of Old Sarum. For example, it has already been determined that the extensive reinforcement of the outer walls of the fort reveals its importance during the middle ages.

Reference for information and picture: “Old Sarum Archeologists Reveal Plan of Medieval City.” BBC News. BBC, 3 Dec. 2014. Web. 6 Dec. 2014.

Old Sarum

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