The Antiquary (Nov 1914) - Proceedings of Archaeological Societies

The following is a transcription of a historic article and may contain occasional errors.

On Saturday, October 10, members of the Leeds and District Branch of the Classical Association inspected the Roman site at Slack, near Huddersfield, where excavations have been conducted for some time by the Roman Antiquities Committee of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society. The visitors were met at Slack by Professor W. Rhys Roberts and Mr. A. M. Woodward (of the University of Leeds), the latter of whom explained the nature of the remains as far as it has been revealed in excavation. The first systematic excavations were conducted in 1865-66 by the Huddersfield Archaeological and Topographical Association, now the Yorkshire Archaeological Society.

Operations had to be discontinued owing to lack of funds, but the excavators were able to lay bare the remains of a Roman bath-house, and to make it highly probable that the building had immediately adjoined a Roman fort. Excavations were resumed last year by the same society. It is intended to examine each year a fresh portion of the fort area, until the whole has been uncovered, and also to search the adjoining ground for traces of civil occupation outside the ramparts. Last year about a third of the fort was dealt with. It is impossible to keep the trenches open after the close of the season, but a full record is kept of what is found, and a report is to be issued when the work is complete. The fort is situated on high ground, and its position is strengthened by a beck on the south and west. It is of the usual rectangular shape, and covers about three acres. The excavators do not appear to have been particularly lucky in their smaller finds, which chiefly include fragments of pottery. The pottery and the coins, as well as the character of the defences and of the masonry, suggest the probability that the buildings all belong to the period of occupation which closed before a.d. 140. It is estimated that the buildings were meant to accommodate a force of about 600 men. A good deal of work remains to be done, and several minor points of interest to archaeologists will possibly be settled by further exploration. Last year the work was supported by subscription, including a grant of £50 from the University of Leeds.

Later in the day, at the Technical College, Huddersfield, Mr. R. C. Bosanquet, Professor of Classical Archaeology in the University of Liverpool, lectured to the party on "Town Life in the Frontier Provinces of the Roman Empire." He dealt with the cities explored by the French Government in Algeria and Tunisia, describing the remains of some minor cities in Tunisia, as well as the African "Pompeii" at Timgad. Incidentally, he emphasized the efficiency of the French colonizations and the humanity and sympathy with which they have always treated the native population.

Members and friends of the Halifax Antiquarian Society on October 3 went to Outlane to inspect the Roman remains. Mr. H. P. Kendall, as guide, exhibited a plan showing the ground uncovered last year, and what is done to date. On the west, the supposed site of sleeping-sheds, were seen the row of post-holes, the wood, of course, rotted away. The excavations on the north, showing sections of the rampart, and the south paving, were studied. More would have been excavated, but the war has withdrawn some who had charge of the work.