Coccio

AttestedCoccio on iter 10 of the Antonine Itinerary

Where:  Wigan, Lancashire, around SD583056, located by the Itinerary's mileages from Manchester and Ribchester.  Recent archaeological work has revealed a substantial Roman settlement, around a fort, amid a network of Roman roads in the area.

Name origin:  Coccium suggests κοκκινος/coccum ‘scarlet’, a word derived from plant-gall dye technology developed in the ancient Middle East.  Maybe Wigan's coal-based brick and tile making industry had a Roman precursor.

Notes:  Four other Roman-era places had names possibly based on words for ‘red’ (with diverse possible causes): Sandonio (pottery); Burrio (building stone); Coccuveda (mine drainage); and Rutupiae (salt-making briquetage).  One common source of redness was water polluted by runoff from mining, which here might be from the hypothetical Roman mine at Arley, near Red Rock north of modern Wigan.  In support of that idea is the local river name Douglas, which resembles Dubglas.

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