Attested: Rudge Cup and Amiens Patera ABALLAVA; RC Avalana 2x, Avalava 1x; ND ABALLABA;
Where: Roman fort at Burgh by Sands, NY328591, near the west end of Hadrian’s Wall.
Name origin: The initial Ab-, from PIE *ap-/*ab-, is more likely to mean ‘water’ (referring to Powburgh Beck near the fort and flooding from the river Solway) than ‘off, away’ (referring to a ferry or ford across the Solway). For the final *lava ‘intermittent stream’, see here.
Notes: The name probably has nothing to do with apples (PIE *abel-) which are not grown seriously there now, though of course the climate was fractionally warmer during the Roman Climatic Optimum. The flood risk map gives some idea of how close to the fort water could now occasionally come, but this whole area has changed substantially since Roman times. One has to wonder if rises in the level of land relative to sea on a time-scale of decades (due to isostatic rebound and vertical growth of saltmarsh), as mentioned for Uxella on the other side of the Solway, were noticed back then.
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Last edited: 19 July 2019 To main Menu