The ‘Wall of Severus’: Pseudoarchaeology and the West Mercian Dykes

Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews


The dates and purposes of Offa’s Dyke and Wat’s Dyke have long been a subject of debate among historians and archaeologists. This paper examines and critiques several of the more unusual claims made over the past century. Prominence is given to the use of ancient literature and widespread misunderstandings of scientific dating techniques, both of which have been used to suggest a Roman date for the origin of the dykes close to the modern Anglo-Welsh border.


Bad Archaeology, ley lines, prehistoric canals, pseudoarchaeology, revisionist history, Roman limes, scientific dating

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