Housesteads Roman Fort Collection
The material cared for by English Heritage and owned by the National Trust is just part of what has been excavated at Housesteads Roman Fort over the last 150 years or so. Some of the rest belongs to the Clayton Collection and some is on display at the Great North Museum. English Heritage cares for material found both within and outside the fort, helping visitors to explore life in the military and civilian spheres.
Despite military occupation at Housesteads lasting almost 300 years, the material culture which remains is fragmentary. For example, only one helmet handle has been discovered. Does this mean that there was only one helmet at the fort? Or were handles well secured and Roman soldiers extremely careful?
Such questions are typical of those posed by the Housesteads collection. It is a fragmentary fraction of the material culture of many generations of soldiers, families and civilians. But the remains still offer a powerful insight into the lives of these people, their cultural and social mindset, and the administration and routines of the Roman army.