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Making the evidence fit the expectations.
Until the Caister excavation report of 1958 was eventually published in 1993 Burgh Castle was considered to have been the Roman Shore Fort of [FONT=&quot]Garriannonum [/FONT][FONT=&quot]so named after its alleged proximity to [/FONT][FONT=&quot]a river, first identified by Ptolemy as Gariennus, however Ptolemy made no mention of the fort existing in his time. This river is widely accepted as being the river Yare. Therein lies the problem for the earlier Roman fort at Caister which it is believed was situated on an island north of the Great Estuary was nowhere near the river Yare.

It is proposed that both Caister and Burgh Castle fell under the same Roman command and I see no problem with this perception given the closeness of their respective locations. However I am not altogether sure who is actually responsible for the misinformation that appears in The Ordnance Survey of Roman Britain 2001 and it would be too easy to blame English Heritage so I will just point out the error. It would appear that Breydon Water which is the smaller silted remanent of the Great Estuary along with the modern part of the river Yare flowing between Gorleston and Great Yarmouth (Both believed to be open water in the Roman period) are designated as what the map calls Garriannvs FL presumably the river Yare. While the portion of the river Yare that is suspected to have existed during the Roman period is shown as a greyed out modern development.

The designation of Caister not being a Roman Shore Fort was decided by the Oxford historian Haverfield in 1901 based upon the evidence of his day. Likewise he disputed the Roman Earthworks site at Reedham as being a Roman fortress associated with Burgh Castle because as he put it " Shore forts are stand alone units and there is no reason why Burgh Castle should be any different" he was able to discount the Reedham site because "it was not a fourth centuary fort". Reedham is situated just north of that portion of the river Yare that is understood to have existed in the relevant Roman period.

Unfortunately the Reedham site, like another Roman fort, Walton Castle, formerly situated on the Essex cliffs no longer exists, the latter due to coastal erosion and the former due to destructive human activity. Neither of these two sites can be excavated but one is widely accepted as being a contender for the title of Shore fort while the other is ignored. Through a process of detailed research I have narrowed down the likely site of the Reedham Earthworks though I do conceed that very little of archaeological importance is likely to remain. Though there is a report published in 2003 detailing the reuse of Roman stonework in several surrounding Parish Churches that cannot be linked to either Caister or Burgh Castle.

My gripe is the misinformation that has been twisted, to make Caister fit the criteria, by implying that the Romans were incapable of knowing the difference between a river and an embayment, or the sea. While ignoring the geographical presentation that we understand as being a likely representation of the East Norfolk coastline during that somewhat changeable period.
Hey this is nothing new ! it goes on all the time.........:face-stir:
Have you tried looking at the OASIS Grey Literature Archive. There has been quite a lot of PPG16 work in Caistor on Sea. I have just checked it and there are about 5 or 6 reports which may be of interest. I did a 'Norfolk' search as 'Caistor' and ''Caistor on Sea' didn't work.
With regard to the place names, in the eighteenth century the spellings were more common to each other, according to Faden's map of Norfolk, Caister by Yarmouth is the modern Caister on Sea whereas Caister by Norwich is the modern Caistor St Edmund otherwise known as the Roman town of Venta Icenorum.
There is a new edition of this map coming out this year, so perhaps updates have been made to this site/depiction of coastline. I certainly know that the editing process involved a trawl of journals, grey lit, oasis, as well as consulting people who have extensive interests in the Roman period. One of the problems of the map is its scale, and I realised that several of the suggestions that I made won't necessarily show up at 1:500,000 or whatever it is, such as extensions to roads. Have you published your detailed research? Perhaps the local history/archaeology society journal would be interested.

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