We were delighted to chat to David Heslop, the City Archaeologist for Newcastle upon Tyne (known affectionately to it’s residents as “the Toon”). David’s written widely on the archaeology of Newcastle, and the reconstruction picture you see in our week 3 text is taken from his book with Zoe McAuley Digging Deeper: The Origin’s of Newcastle and Gateshead. We chatted about how archaeological evidence is uncovered and preserved during the development of new buildings; what we do and don’t know about the course of the wall through the city centre and about what has changed and what has stayed the same.
For me Newcastle Quayside is never going to seem the same! David explained how this artificially flat area was created through land reclamation in the medieval period. The River Tyne is tidal in city and, of course, safe quayside spots were essential as trade expanded. Once you hear this, of course it becomes obvious – you can begin to see the how the steep descents to quayside bars mirror the drops to the original banks of the river in the Roman town.
We experimented with merging David’s picture with one from the Northumbria University’s Virtual NewcastleGateshead project. You can see the results of our photoshop efforts in the YouTube video above. How do you think we got on?
For those interested in browsing through the region’s records of Roman evidence do pay a visit to Sitelines (Tyne and Wear’s Historic Environment Record).