The Taming of the Somerset Wetlands in the Roman and Medieval Periods

  • Wednesday 21 May 2014
  • Lecture Theatre 5W 2.3

The Levels and Moors are an enormous floodplain in the heart of Somerset and for tens of thousands of years were an ever changing mix of different wetland habitats. It was only after the Roman conquest that parts were tamed and reclaimed for settlement and agriculture but this system collapsed in the 4th century AD. The present day landscape with its canalised rivers and flood defences was largely created in the early medieval period and most of that system is still in use today. A floodplain it remains however and the events of the last two years have shown that it can never be truly tamed.

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Dr Richard Brunning

Dr Richard Brunning is an archaeologist and historian who has specialised in wetlands and their archaeology throughout his career in England, Scotland and Wales. He has been the Senior Heritage Officer for the Somerset Levels and Moors for Somerset County Council for the past 20 years and has written several books on the area in addition to numerous academic articles.