The evidence of the pottery thus goes to prove that somewhere at the end of the first or early in the second century there was an abandonment of the site followed by a second-century reoccupation.

There need be little hesitation in attributing this break in the occupation to the first half of the second century. History gives no support to the theory that Agricola's 'conquest' resulted in a permanent acquisition. Agricola himself is represented as having been recalled by Domitian, and the fruits of his victories sacrificed—perdomita Britannia et statim missa. The account by Tacitus of his father-in-law's expedition conveys no impression that its results were abiding, and so far archaeology has failed to produce, north of the Tweed, any records of a permanent nature which can be associated with him.

We cannot tell how soon the recall of Agricola was followed by a general withdrawal of the troops which he may have left behind to hold what he had won. But it is certain that about the year A.D. 120 Hadrian established his frontier line between the Tyne and the Solway, and we know that that event was preceded by serious troubles in Britain, involving probably the whole land north of the Humber, and that in some great disaster of that troubled time the Ninth Legion was apparently overwhelmed. With the first mutterings of rebellion in the rear, the position of the garrisons guarding the long line of communications would become insecure, and the forces would retreat to the south. Somewhere, then, in these early years of the second century, if not in the end of the first, we must place the earliest abandonment of Newstead. There can be little doubt that the fort remained deserted till the advance of Lollius Urbicus soon after the year 140.

The history of the fort would thus appear to be divisible into two main periods, corresponding respectively to the expedition of Agricola, and to the building of the Vallum under Urbicus. To the earlier period may be assigned, not only the early fort, but also the first occupation of the enlarged fort which succeeded it. The ditch of the early fort was certainly open as late as the year A.D. 86. Two bronze coins struck in the Twelfth Consulate of Domitian had dropped into it before it was covered by the clay rampart that subsequently concealed it. These were recovered, one from the west, the other from the south front. The year is the year of Agricola's departure. Now we know of no Roman mints in Britain, and it is highly improbable that these coins reached Newstead and were lost in the very year of their minting. Another coin, a denarius of Domitian of the year A.D. 92, almost unused,