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Why did Romans live in cities?
Didn't they settle in the country?
Why were the roads so straight?
How did the Romans build them?
Master Romulus, can I...ask where we're going?
-To the 21st century, Sloggio.
-And you can cut the Master today.
People in the modern world don't have slaves. You can call me Rom.
Although I am a master trader and genuinely good bloke, and...
I have an idea that is a masterstroke!
Wait a minute. If there aren't any slaves in the 21st century,
then I won't need to carry this sack for you, Master. I mean, Rom!
Yes, you will! I paid your master to borrow you for the day.
We have important work to do.
Getting rid of some dodgy gear?! We could've done that in Roman times.
Yes, which is why YOU are a slave and I'M a businessman.
People in the 21st century love all that dodgy...QUALITY merchandise.
Yes, archaeologists have been digging it up for years.
Oh, yes, we are taking this to Chester!
-Chester! The Roman city of Deva.
One of their museums'll love my bag of goods. All in perfect condition!
From where I'm sitting, this sack is full of old rubbish!
Sloggio, will you stop moaning and start moving?!
-I've got a bad back!
-What did you say?
-I wouldn't mind going back.
-Well, you can't.
-Because we've arrived.
Next stop, 21st century. Mind the time gap.
-Is this Chester, then?
Watch the merchandise. I don't want any breakages!
Do you know, I think this is Watling Street.
-It don't look much like a street to me!
-I'm trying to concentrate.
-We need a landmark to help us locate where we are.
-like that building up on the hill?
-What building? What hill?
Aha! Now that is St Albans Abbey,
which means we're in St Albans, the Roman city of Verulamium.
Watling Street runs right through it! I knew where we were all along.
Why were roads important in Roman times?
Where was Watling Street?
-Where are we now? Is this Chester?
That is part of the city wall that used to surround Roman Verulamium.
We'll be in Chester in no time.
-Roman roads take the quickest route.
-How far is it?
-180 modern miles.
180 miles?! You...!
But modern miles are MUCH shorter than Roman miles, ain't they?
No, Sloggio, it's the other way round. Modern miles are much longer.
No time for resting. This way!
No, THIS way!
You're not a master of directions, are you(?)
Maybe your gadget could help us. I'm not walking around in circles!
You won't be walking round in circles.
Roman roads are always very straight.
If we set off in a straight line, we'll be in Chester eventually.
If we use your gadget,
-we might find Watling Street before night.
-Very well, Sloggio.
Watling Street was the first major Roman road to be built in Britain.
It went from Richborough in the south to Chester in the north,
passing through London, St Albans and Wroxeter.
The other major Roman roads were
Ermine Street, which ran from London to York,
and Foss Way, which ran from Ilchester to Lincoln.
By the end of the first century,
the Romans had created 8,000 miles of roads across Britain.
Roman soldiers dug ditches and filled them with layers of stones.
The top layers, called cambers,
were curved to allow water to run off into ditches on either side.
This stopped puddles forming and made the surface last longer.
Innit noisy here? Much busier than it was for us Romans!
Yes, but we're on Watling Street now!
-Can't we go to Chester in one of those?
-We're going the Roman way.
I want to see what signs there are of us along Watling Street.
We'll see lots of Roman things that are 2,000 years old!
Which is how old I'll feel by the time we get there!
A 2,000-year-old cart horse!
Clip-clop, clip blooming clop!
This is St Albans amphitheatre.
It's where we Romans used to perform plays and poetry.
Well, it was very popular in Roman Verulamium.
Still looks Roman, doesn't it?
-Yeah, well, granted, it's not perfect, but...
well, you can still see the stage, and where the audience used to sit.
How did you do that?
Eh? Oh, it's all do-it-yourself in the 21st century, Sloggio.
No, they don't need slaves any more.
All the gadgets and contraptions they've got, you'd be out of a job.
Rom...why haven't you got a slave of your own?
Don't you need one, help with your business?
Probably do, Sloggio, but...
Well, I mean, I've bought plenty of slaves in my time, oh, yes.
Slaves from all over the Roman Empire.
You can pick up bargains in the forum
but you get them home and they are not what they're cracked up to be.
It's not as if I don't know how to look after a slave. I'm very fair.
-No, you...you don't realise how much they cost to keep.
SLOGGIO SLURPS You need to feed them, for a start.
Oh, please! I think I shall be calling you Slobbio from now on!
-Which part of the Roman Empire are you from?
-I'm from Britain!
We were here long before you Romans arrived.
I was captured and sold to a Roman senator. But my master IS fair.
-And there are worse jobs than being a slave.
-Like having to carry heavy sacks all the way to Chester!
Why have we stopped?
-To see some more of Roman St Albans.
-It don't look very Roman here!
It looks modern on the outside, but inside it's full of Roman treasures.
If we dug deep, there'd be lots more evidence of Roman buildings here.
-I don't have to dig now, do I?!
-No! That's what archaeologists do.
And, because Roman cities were always designed in a similar way,
there's bound to be more here than we can see.
Could be right beneath our feet.
Why are Roman towns alike?
What buildings did they have?
Were Roman cities all the same size?
Roman towns were different sizes, but followed a similar pattern.
They had a grid system of roads and alleyways.
There was a forum, a marketplace, a basilica - for the town council -
a religious building for praying to gods and goddesses.
They also had houses, shops and workshops.
Some even had an amphitheatre for entertainment,
an aqueduct to supply water, and a public bath house.
We know a lot about Roman cities because of Pompeii in Italy.
It's one of the most complete Roman towns we can still see.
For centuries, Pompeii was buried,
because a nearby volcano, called Vesuvius, erupted in 79 AD.
It left a cloud of black ash all over the landscape.
But, when the town was finally uncovered,
parts of the original buildings from Roman times were still there.
Where are we now?
-Are we nearly at Chester?
But we are still on Watling Street!
-It's a lot quieter here than it was in St Albans.
It didn't used to be, though! Look!
We're walking alongside the forum of the Roman city of Wroxeter.
It looks like stones in the grass.
Yeah, it does now, but they were once huge Roman columns.
Over there, that was the bath house.
Where? I can only see ruins!
But imagine what it was like in our time.
Why did the Romans build Wroxeter?
Why isn't Wroxeter a city in the 21st century?
This arch formed part of the gateway to the bath house.
Wroxeter! It was a marvellous city.
I don't know why you built it. There's not much life around here.
But there was in Roman times, Sloggio! It was great!
It was on Watling Street, it was next to the River Severn
and over there was Wales.
We Romans had to protect this part of Britain from the Welsh invaders.
-But why isn't it important today?
-When we left, nobody else moved in.
The Anglo-Saxons who followed us built their own city six miles away.
-It's called Shrewsbury.
-Does that still exist today?
-I was thinking, we could get rid of this stuff there!
Well, think again!
-Come on, Sloggio, time to go.
-But, but...I've got more questions...
Like...what happened to the rest of the city?
Why can modern people only see part of it?
Yeah, well, I mean...there are lots more ruins in the field over there.
Well, why don't people dig them up?
Because archaeologists can't just go digging anywhere, can they?
There might be other historic buildings on top of the Roman ones.
Like at Canterbury, the Roman city of Durovernum.
What happened there? Maybe your gadget could tell us!
Sloggio, are you really interested in Canterbury?
-Or are you just looking for a longer rest?
I am REALLY interested! Huh!
Underneath here is the Roman town of Durovernum,
now known as Canterbury.
Archaeologists have been collecting clues about the city's past.
Just two metres below this ground is an entire Roman town.
Archaeologists know because they have found fragments of buildings
that compare with fragments from Roman towns elsewhere in Britain.
We found the major buildings we'd expect to find in a Roman town.
We found evidence for the theatre,
which now is situated underneath a restaurant.
We found evidence for the Roman public baths.
These baths were situated underneath a modern bookshop.
We have found evidence for a Roman marketplace,
now called the Marlowe Shopping Arcade.
We'd really like to find more evidence for the temple.
We've only found a tiny bit of the temple.
We found some of the marble that made it up,
but we don't know exactly where the temple was situated.
Archaeologists can't just go and dig wherever they like.
A lot of the buildings around Canterbury are very important and very old and very beautiful.
We wait for an existing building to be knocked down, we do our work, then the new building goes up.
Sometimes, we find remains that are too big to take out of the ground.
For example, in the High Street are three very big Roman mosaics,
which are still beneath the ground.
They have been incorporated into a museum.
Canterbury isn't as well known as some of the other big Roman towns,
but we are, as archaeologists, doing what we can to bring attention to the Roman remains.
-Rom! Where are we now?
-Still on Watling Street.
I don't suppose we're near Chester yet, are we?
-In fact, we're in Chester - the Roman city of Deva.
-Oh, thank goodness.
Don't look much like it did in our day, does it?
It's changed over the years, but let's find the bits that haven't.
There's the River Dee, for example.
Or the Roman walls around the city.
Oi! You're not going to make me walk the walls, are you? This sack is driving me...up the wall!
Can't I just dump it, now we're here?
Sloggio, this is the 21st century.
They have rules about that sort of thing.
-You can't just go dumping your old rubbish anywhere.
-You admit it's a sack of old rubbish, then? Eh?
Why have Roman objects lasted so long?
Why did Roman cities have walls?
I knew you'd make me walk the wall!
Yeah, well, you've got to when you're in Chester! And it is Roman.
Is it all Roman?
It follows the same route as ours,
and you can still see some of the Roman stonework,
but bits have been added and rebuilt since we were here 2,000 years ago.
-I don't know why you built it to start with.
-I do. Keep out slaves.
Only joking, Sloggio!
No - city walls, they were there to protect us from our enemies.
And they were built to last.
Oh, that's better! I haven't had a sit-down for hours!
HE COUGHS Ugh!
Where are we now?
-At Chester Amphitheatre.
-I don't think much of the entertainment.
Nor do I.
It's like watching traffic.
But imagine what it was like in Roman times!
Sloggio! Come over here!
Look at all these Roman objects!
These have all been found in Chester.
You see, because we Romans made things so well and used hard objects
like stone and clay, well,
there are lots of genuine articles still to be found all over Britain!
If they've already got Roman articles, why do they need more?!
Because they can't get enough of us Romans!
Which is why they're going to love the stuff in that sack...!
Sloggio, where IS the sack?
Sloggio...what have you done?
Now it really IS rubbish, eh?
-Where are we now, Rom?
-Back on Watling Street.
-It's a much easier walk without that junk to carry!
-For the last time, Sloggio, that was NOT junk!
I cannot believe you lost that quality Roman merchandise!
I mean, who knows where it is now?
-We've had a totally wasted journey!
-No, we haven't!
We've seen signs of the Romans in Chester, and Wroxeter, and St Albans, and along Watling Street!
And now we're going to see them all again on the way back!
-No, we're not!
-Cos we're going back to Roman times.
-You're going back to your master. I have no use for a second-hand slave!
-Oi! I am not second-hand!
I'll have you know I'M quality merchandise...in perfect condition.
Subtitles by Audrey Flynn BBC Broadcast 2003
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