A HEXHAM archaeologist has challenged perceived wisdom with startling claims that Hadrian’s Wall was originally built of wood.
In a 65,000 word thesis published on his website, Geoff Carter says his hypothesis answers some age-old questions.
Archaeologists have long wondered why the ditch that runs parallel is several feet away from the Wall itself, reducing its effectiveness as a deterrent to invaders.
They also question why the ditch curves inwards towards each of the milecastles.
The answer, says Mr Carter, is that the ditch was originally dug at the foot of a timber wall that was put up as a temporary measure.
The temporary wall ran between each of the milecastles, providing a swift means of defence against marauding Scots while auxiliaries built the permanent stone wall behind.