Roman Barrows and their Landscape Context: a GIS Case Study at Bartlow, Cambridgeshire

Hella Eckardta1, Peter Brewera2, Sophie Haya2 and Sarah Poppya2

a1 Department of Archaeology, University of Reading,

a2 Department of Archaeology, University of Reading


This paper examines the landscape context of the Bartlow Hills, a group of large Romano-British barrows that were excavated in the 1840s but have been largely neglected since. GIS is employed to test whether it was possible to view the mounds from nearby roads, barrows, and villas. Existing research on provincial barrows, and especially their landscape context, and some recent relevant applications of GIS are reviewed. We argue that barrows are active and symbolically charged statements about power and identity. The most striking pattern to emerge from the GIS analysis is a focus on display to a local rather than a transient audience.