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John Leland and the 'Briton brykes'

Harris, O; (2007) John Leland and the 'Briton brykes'. Antiquaries Journal , 87 346 - 356.

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This paper traces the practice among early modern antiquaries of describing Roman bricks as ‘British’. The term originated in the 1530s in the notes of John Leland, who based his nomenclature on material first encountered at Verulamium. He may either have regarded the settlement there as British, or have adopted a local folk-attribution. Others who followed his usage, including William Camden, recognized that the bricks were actually Roman, but the terminology was not properly discussed until the end of the seventeenth century. While Leland’s designation was flawed, his identification is of significance as an exceptionally early exercise in archaeological typology.

Title:John Leland and the 'Briton brykes'
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Laws > Bentham Project

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