Today I was working down in the Priory visitors centre.   I like to read as much as I can so that I can give the best information possible.  So I had a root about in the staff library and found a lovely little book about the history of Coventry.  Published about 1935 it paints a picture of the city before the German bombing as a medieval city, a city of tudor buildings, a sweet cathedral, industry and tradition.  As such the city is unrecognizable now, a different world replacing the old as unstoppable as the passage of time.  As I work at both Priory and the Lunt I share my reading between the two sites.  First I read about Medieval Coventy, the glassworks that produced prestigious work such as the windows of York cathedral, the charterhouse and the mystery plays then I turned my attentions to the Romans.  I had to laugh because according to this delightful book Coventry was of no importance to the Romans at all, I realised as I read that the Lunt had not yet been discovered and one of the most important Roman forts in the empire was still waiting under a field in Bagington.  The titanic Praetorium, the gyrus and the unusual layout which show how important this area was to the Romans was unknown to the historians of the early twentieth century.

So it just goes to show that what we know and what we think we know can be over turned by a simple discovery changing our understanding and interpretations over night and head over heals.  How do we approach this as historians?  With a laugh and a smile.  I believe in historical truth and here is an example of it biting our venerable predecessors on the rear.

Now where does this leave us?  Quite frankly it is a moment for a good natured smile as well as serious meditation.  What are we writing now that could be over turned by a sudden discovery of a fort?  What are we not imaging when we create our naratives?  History is full of surprises and one day our own narratives will be over turned so I say let us create so that some day a smug little man can write a blog about my own narrative being superseded by events.

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