The Gateway at South Shields: The Romanization of Tyneside

Richard Hingley

in Hadrian's Wall

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199641413
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745720 | DOI:
The Gateway at South Shields: The Romanization of Tyneside

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The south-west gateway of the hinterland fort at Arbeia (South Shields), comprises another iconic image of the Wall. Opened in 1988 with considerable ceremony, it is one of the most impressive of the reconstructed Roman structures along the Wall. It was built directly on top of the foundations of the Roman gateway of the fort and represents part of a substantial programme of works that has uncovered and displayed Roman remains across urban Tyneside. Since the mid 1970s, the Roman forts at South Shields and Wallsend have been extensively excavated and the remains displayed on site, with adjoining museums and reconstructed Roman military buildings. This chapter explores these attempts to reconstruct elements of Hadrian's Wall, which forms part of a process that Barlow has called ‘the Romanization of the Tyne’. He has observed that the radical deindustrialization of Tyneside since the 1970s has led to a disassociation with the important recent industrial heritage of the area and the drawing of a connection with the more ancient legacy of the Roman empire. Barlow has also argued that this new identity allows for a distinctive negotiation between modern leisure-based businesses and the idealization of the lost heavy industry of this urban landscape.

Keywords: Hadrian's Wall; Arbeia; Roman forts; excavations; industrial heritage; Roman Empire

Chapter.  9722 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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