What is a Civitas?; German First World War Trench; Machu Picchu, Peru.

What is  a Civitas?

Civitas is Latin for citizen. The term was used by the Romans in two situations

  • Granting citizenship to individuals
  • Naming of towns, communities

The Romans did not just grant citizenship to people all the time, it had to be earned, and slaves could be rewarded for being loyal and good, with citizenship.

Military Diploma Granting Citizenship © Matthias Kabel
Military Diploma Granting Citizenship
© Matthias Kabel

Civitas status would be awarded to tribal centres and towns where they had a sometimes independent role than that of Roman citizens. In Britain this was awarded to previous towns and also tribal centres under client kings or queens, they had a principate who was in charge, and also comprised of elected councils and magistrates. The citizens also had a social responsibility that tied them together under a common purpose.

Civitas Silurum Stone ©Nick Smith
Civitas Silurum Stone
©Nick Smith

Civitas stones, as shown in the photo above, would be made and displayed in a prominent position to show that a town or community was a part of the Roman Empire.


  • Buckland. W. W. 2011. The Main Institutions of Roman Private Law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Williams. R. 1976. Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Civitas Silurum Stone – ©Nick Smith [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
  • Military Diploma Granting Citizenship – By User:MatthiasKabel (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons



Archaeology Wow!! – German First World War Trench

In 2012 archaeologists clearing a site for a new road came across the perfectly preserved remains of a First World War German trench.

Length of the Trench ©pairarcheologie/BNPS
Length of the Trench

The 21 soldiers, all belonging to the 6th Company, 94th Reserve Infantry, were in their trench when a bomb blasted next to it burying them in mud and other debris, on the 18th March, 1918. The remains of the soldiers were found lying in their beds, sitting upright, and one in a crouched position.


Uncovered German Trench from World War I ©pairarcheologie/BNPS
Uncovered German Trench from World War I

The trench was 300 foot long, made up of a wooden floor, sides and steps, and had been fitted with electricity, telephone, heating and a pump to remove water. Personal artefacts from the soldiers included boots, helmets, weapons, wine bottles, wallets, glasses, pipes, pocket books, cigarette cases, and German newspapers.

Archaeologist Michael Landolt explained they even found the skeleton of a goat which is beleived to have supplied the soldiers with fresh milk.

An incredible find, from a period and war that should never be forgotten………………..





Archaeological Site Guide – Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu is one of  the worlds best known archaeological sites. Situated high in the Andes mountain Range in Peru, South America, the site was first noted by Higham Bingham, an American historian in 1911.

Machu Picchu Sunrise ©Wiki Commons
Machu Picchu Sunrise
©Wiki Commons

It is thought that the site was built for the Incan emperor Pachacuti (1438-1472) but its function and purpose are still not agreed upon. Theories are that the site was

  • the last Incan city
  • a temple to the Virgins of the Sun
  • a Royal retreat
  • a place that honours the sacred landscape
Machu Picchu 1912 ©Wiki Commons
Machu Picchu 1912
©Wiki Commons

The site includes

  • an urban sector
  • an agriculture sector
  • the upper town
  • the lower town
  • the Temple of the Sun
  • the Room of Three Windows

It also has stairways and terraces cut into the rock. Finds from the site taken in 1912, 1914-1915 include ceramics, silver statues, human remains and jewelry. Some of the finds were not from local materials and therefore gives evidence that the city had long distance trade connections.

It is not understood yet why the site was abandoned, it may have been smallpox bought into Peru by the Spanish.

Temple of the Sun ©Wiki Commons
Temple of the Sun
©Wiki Commons

In 1976 30% of the site had been restored and in 1983 it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. Machu Picchu is currently on the endangered sites list due to the number of visitors it attracts each year and environmental conditions.



  • Fagan. B. M., & Beck. C. 1996. The Oxford Companion to Archaeology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Wright. K. R., & Zegarra. A. V. 2000. Machu Picchu: A Civil Engineering Marvel. ASCE Publications.
  • Hiram Bingham near Machu Picchu in 1912 – ©By not given (“Explorer of Machu Picchu” by Alfred M. Bingham) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
  • Machu Picchu 1912 – © By Hiram Bingham III, « Work Accomplished by the Peruvian Expedition of 1912, under the Auspices of Yale University and the National Geographic Society » (see the Rediscovering Machu Picchu in the menu of http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/1913/04/machu-picchu/bingham-photography). [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
  • Temple of the Sun © http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Machupicchu_intihuatana.JPG.
  • Machu Picchu Sunrise – © Allard Schmidt [Public domain, GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons



Great Books to Read…….



Great Web Pages to Look At…….


Activity – Word Search 23 January 2015 docx

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