In Hispania stones that are brought from far off are rare. It seems
hard to justify the expense and logistics necessary for the funerary
stones of 'regular people' (as regular as they come, given that they
have these stones at all). Only in the case of marble and such for those stones of very rich people, public inscriptions, imperial dedications, etc. seems to have travelled long distances at all (Carrara marble can travel thousands of kilometres, Estremoz marble hundreds, brecciated marble perhaps 70 km). I am not familiar with the geology of SE England, but it seems that the closest rock is bound the be the rock used. I have seen how stones can travel short distances (slate for roofing, granite for inscriptions) when necessary. But only when locally available stone is wholly unsuitable for inscriptions (such as gneiss). Otherwise inscriptions tend to be made of local stones (except for the exceptions afore mentioned).
If extremely necessary (no rock available anywhere), the use of brick and wood structures for buildings has been attested.
Transporting stone has to be well worth it. Naturally it would have to go by boat. Land transportation was extremely expensive, slow and very hazardous until the railroad was invented. No matter how rough british seas may be, the Atlantic coastline never ceased to be a busy waterway since the Bronze Age. This applies to stone transportation as well.
Another issue altogether is whether stone was necessarily the only place where an inscription could be. How important was it in funerary ritual and its social context?
> Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2009 20:32:54 +0100
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] Early Roman Quarrying and Building Stone
> To: [log in to unmask]
> On Tuesday 13 October 2009 18:04:48 Longinus Sdapeze wrote:
> > The quarries were nearer Bath, being loosely termed Bath
> > oolitics.
> O yes, the Great Oolite. It's more of a limestone.
> (Arkell, The Jurassic System in Great Britain.)
> The Kennet and Avon canal is the modern version of the
> Thames route from Bath to London.
> Without it there would have had to be /some/ road haulage.
> I wish we had more surviving Roman vehicles.
> It is frustrating knowing their names without being able to visualise
> the types intended.
> regards, John
> John Palmer
> Preston near Weymouth, Dorset, England
> e-mail: [log in to unmask] (plain text preferred)
> website: http://www.palmyra.uklinux.net/
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