The builders were incredulous when Evans insisted that, however advanced their plumbing and road-building, the Romans had no wheelbarrows, so everything had to be carried on to the site by hand. The builders kept smuggling in wheelbarrows; he kept throwing them out. When the roof boards were on, they wrote in giant letters “Romans had wheelbarrows” – now covered by the shingles.
“They absolutely did not have wheelbarrows,” Evans said. “I’ve done a lot of work on this now. They had wheelbarrows in China, but there is no record, drawing or evidence for a wheelbarrow anywhere in the Roman empire. The first reference I can find is Isidore of Seville, and that’s in the seventh century – centuries after our house.”
Story: Maev Kennedy, The Guardian | Photo: Wroxeter Roman City