Friday, May 17, 2019

Roman treasure found by metal detectorists in Lincolnshire

The Roman coin hoard and fragment of pot that it was buried in, near Rauceby.

The largest haul of Roman coins from the early 4th Century AD ever found in Britain has been unearthed near Sleaford by two metal detector enthusiasts.

The discovery was made near the village of Rauceby after the detectorists painstakingly searched the area for years.

The hoard, which consists of more than three thousand copper alloy coins, many of which are historically unique, is now being looked at by The British Museum and is regarded as being of significant international importance.

The coins have today (Thursday) officially been declared treasure under the Treasure Act 1996 at Lincoln Coroner's Court.

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Fancy a game of Ludus latrunculorum? It seems the Romans certainly did

Artists impression of how the Vindolanda archaeology centre would look 
(Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

After a day’s duty on the frontier of Hadrian’s Wall , what better than a relaxing game of Ludus latrunculorum.

The game of strategy and military tactics was popular across the Roman empire, and a stone board on which it may have been played has been uncovered at Vindolanda fort in Northumberland .

This third century board was found by volunteer digger Phil Harding re-used in a floor, in a newly excavated building behind the Vindolanda bath house.

It is thought that the board would have been in use in the bath house and then utilised elsewhere after it was broken.

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Traces of Roman-era pollution stored in the ice of Mont Blanc


The deepest layers of carbon-14 dated ice found in the Col du Dôme of the Mont Blanc glacier in the French Alps provide a record of atmospheric conditions in the ancient Roman era. Published in Geophysical Research Letters, the study, led by an international team and coordinated by a CNRS scientist at the Institute for Geosciences and Environmental Research (IGE)(CNRS/IRD/UGA/Grenoble INP)*, reveals significant atmospheric pollution from heavy metals: the presence of lead and antimony (detected in ancient alpine ice for the first time here) is linked to mining activity and lead and silver production by the ancient Romans, well before the industrial age, in fact.

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Archaeologists find secret chamber decorated with centaurs and a sphinx inside Nero's palace in Rome

The chamber has been dubbed the Sphinx Room 
CREDIT: UFFICIO STAMPA PARCO ARCHEOLOGICO DEL COLOSSEO

Archeologists have chanced upon an underground chamber decorated with images of panthers, centaurs and a sphinx in the remains of a vast palace built by the Emperor Nero in Rome.

The room, which was part of the huge Domus Aurea palace built by the emperor in the first century AD, had remained hidden for nearly 2,000 years.

It was discovered by accident during restoration of an adjacent area of the palatial complex, which was built on by subsequent emperors, including Trajan, and now lies interred beneath a hill next to the Colosseum in the historic heart of Rome.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Pompeii ‘fast food’ bar unearthed in ancient city after 2,000 years

Dozens of thermopolia, or snack bars, have been found across Pompeii.
Photograph: Massimo Ossana/Instagram

Thermopolia used by poorer residents with few cooking facilities, archaeologists say

A well-preserved frescoed “fast food” counter is among the latest discoveries unearthed by archaeologists in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii.

The 150 or so thermopolia, or snack bars, dotted across the city were mostly used by the poorer residents, who rarely had cooking facilities in their home, to grab a snack or drink. Typical menus included coarse bread with salty fish, baked cheese, lentils and spicy wine.

An image of the 2,000-year old relic, found in Regio V, a 21.8-hectare (54-acre) site to the north of the archaeological park, was shared on Instagram by Massimo Ossana, the site’s outgoing superintendent.

“A thermopolium has been brought back to light, with its beautiful frescoed counter,” he wrote.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Second Rare Roman Coin Hoard Found In Warwickshire

Coins from Year of the Four Emperors and pot found in Warwickshire 
[Credit: Warwickshire County Council]

Warwickshire museum service needs help to raise the funds to buy a major Roman hoard, found recently in Warwickshire.

The hoard made up of 440 silver denarii coins was uncovered during an archaeological dig at a Roman site on the Edge Hill in 2015. They were buried in a ceramic pot over 1900 years ago, under the floor of a building. This is the second hoard of denarii to be found in this area and this new discovery contains 78 coins dating to AD 68-69, a turbulent time in Roman history known as the ‘Year of the Four Emperors’.

This important period in Roman history saw a civil war sparked by the death of Nero in AD 68, resulting in four successive rulers in a short span of time: Galba, Otho, Vitellius and finally Vespasian. As they vied for power, each contender struck their own coins to fund their armies, and these coins are incredibly rare. Within a roughly 18 month period the title of Emperor changed hands four times. Very few of these coins from this turbulent time survive. The second South Warwickshire hoard contains the largest collection of civil war-era coins ever found.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Stunning Narcissus fresco at Pompeii


(ANSA) - Rome, February 14 - A stunning fresco depicting Narcissus gazing at his own reflection has been uncovered during new excavations at Pompeii, the interim director of the archaeological site, Alfonsina Russo, announced on Thursday.

    Pompeii Superintendent Massimo Osanna said the myth of Narcissus was a "very commonly found artistic topos in the ancient city".


    He said "the whole ambience is pervaded by the theme of 'joie de vivre', beauty and vanity, underscored also by the figures of maenads and satyrs who, in a sort of Dionysian courtship dance, accompanied the visitors inside the public part of the ancient house.


    "It is a deliberately luxurious, and probably dating back to the last years of the colony, as is testified by the extraordinary state of conservation of the colours".


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Decapitated bodies found in Roman cemetery in Great Whelnetham

The team found a number of decapitated Roman burials
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOLUTIONS

Archaeologists excavating a Roman burial ground said the discovery of a series of decapitated bodies was a "rare find".

A dig has been taking place on a site in Great Whelnetham, Suffolk, ahead of a planned housing development.

Of the 52 skeletons found, about 40% had their skulls detached from their bodies, many placed by their legs.

Archaeologist Andrew Peachey said it gave a "fascinating insight" into Roman burial practice.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

AU CŒUR DE MÂCON, UNE NÉCROPOLE GALLO-ROMAINE


Cette fouille a permis de mettre au jour les vestiges de la nécropole dite « des Cordiers », datée de la période antique (Ier-VIe siècles). Ils documentent différentes pratiques funéraires gallo-romaines : les archéologues ont en effet découvert des aires de bûchers funéraires, des urnes cinéraires, des sépultures inhumées en coffrage de bois ainsi qu’un imposant sarcophage en pierre.

UNE NÉCROPOLE DES IER ET VIE SIÈCLES 
La ville gallo-romaine de Mâcon appelée Matisco est bien attestée par des cartes et des textes antiques. Cette agglomération se développe à la fin du Ier siècle avant notre ère, dès la conquête de la Gaule, pour se mettre définitivement en place au milieu du Ier siècle. À Mâcon comme ailleurs, selon les lois et traditions antiques, tandis que l’urbanisation de la ville se fixe intramuros, les nécropoles s’installent à l’extérieur, le long des axes de communications.

La fouille réalisée par l’Inrap va permettre aux scientifiques de documenter la nécropole « des Cordiers », implantée aux abords de la voie menant à Lyon. Les opérations archéologiques réalisées entre 1979 et 1982 ont révélé les premiers vestiges de cette nécropole. Parmi eux, des crémations des Ier et IIe siècle, des inhumations couvrant la période gallo-romaine ainsi que le sarcophage en grès d’un guerrier franc du VIe siècle.

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Pompeii: Vesuvius eruption may have been later than thought

Pompeii was famously destroyed on 24 August in 79 AD - or was it?
GETTY IMAGES

Archaeologists in Italy have uncovered an inscription they say may show that the history books have been wrong for centuries.

Historians have long believed that Mount Vesuvius erupted on 24 August 79 AD, destroying the nearby Roman city of Pompeii.

But now, an inscription has been uncovered dated to mid-October - almost two months later.

Italy's culture minister labelled it "an extraordinary discovery."

"The new excavations demonstrate the exceptional skill of our country," Alberto Bonisoli said.

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Mount Vesuvius murdered its victims in more brutal ways than we thought

Our visions of Pompeii's destruction just got a little more gruesome.
Giorgio Sommer/Public Domain

For nearly two millennia, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius has served as a stark reminder that nature is capable of some serious violence. The helpless residents of Pompeii and Herculaneum were inundated by volcanic horror, bludgeoned by hot ash avalanches that asphyxiated them while preserving their bodies for centuries afterward, within an unforgettable necropolis. At least, that’s what we always assumed. It turns out, many people probably died in ways that were more grisly than we imagined.

In findings published in PLOS One late last month, researchers from Naples, Italy found that a segment of Vesuvius victims were likely killed by fast-moving laving surges that streamed down toward the towns below, creating temperatures high enough to vaporize bodily fluids and create explosions in the skull. It’s about as horrific a way to go as you might imagine, and upends the notion that the toxic gases and thick chunks of ash were responsible for choking inhabitants to death during the AD 79 eruption.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Archaeologists find 60 Roman burials in Lincolnshire field - one skeleton is even buried with a leg of lamb

One of the skeletons found at Winterton (Image: David Haber)

Three Roman villas or farmsteads have previously been found near the dig site off North Street, Winterton, which is just outside Scunthorpe.

And it was Roman tradition to place burial grounds outside of towns and villages to avoid pollution.

The Romans founded a settlement nearby called Ad Abum, at modern-day Winteringham on the south bank of the River Humber.

This was where the Roman Road between London and Lincoln - Ermine Street - ended.

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Carmarthen Roman dig is filled in after key findings

A ceramic faience jewellery bead found at Priory Street
ARCHAEOLOGY WALES

An archaeological dig described as one of the most important in Wales has now been buried again and handed back to developers.

Archaeologists have spent three months sifting the site on a main street in Carmarthen, making substantial finds.

The dig was a condition of planning permission for a block of flats there.

As a result Archaeology Wales now believes Roman Carmarthen was established earlier and was a wealthy town of considerable status.

Its team moved in after developers had demolished a former car showroom and before they started work building homes for the Bro Myrddin housing association.

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Archaeologists unearth Roman road in Netherlands

The dig is metres away from a main road
OMROEP WEST

Archaeologists in the Netherlands have discovered a 2,000-year-old stretch of Roman road and the remains of a Roman village at the town of Katwijk, which once marked the northern boundary of the Roman Empire.

The road is 125 metres (410 ft) long and lies close to a busy highway in the Valkenburg suburb. The Roman village comes complete with a canal and burial ground, the Omroep West regional broadcaster reports.

South Holland Province asked archaeologists to examine the whole area where the new RijnlandRoute bypass is to run, aware of the local Roman legacy and anxious to preserve any finds.

The Emperor Claudius built the city of Lugdunum Batavorum at the mouth of the Old Rhine River, which still flows through Katwijk, and ships would sail from there for Britain. But no one expected to find such well-preserved remains in Katwijk itself.

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Monday, August 6, 2018

'Spectacular' ancient public library discovered in Germany

‘Really incredible’ … the site of the second-century library discovered in Cologne. Photograph: Hi-flyFoto/Roman-Germanic Museum of Cologne

The remains of the oldest public library in Germany, a building erected almost two millennia ago that may have housed up to 20,000 scrolls, have been discovered in the middle of Cologne.

The walls were first uncovered in 2017, during an excavation on the grounds of a Protestant church in the centre of the city. Archaeologists knew they were of Roman origins, with Cologne being one of Germany’s oldest cities, founded by the Romans in 50 AD under the name Colonia. But the discovery of niches in the walls, measuring approximately 80cm by 50cm, was, initially, mystifying.

“It took us some time to match up the parallels – we could see the niches were too small to bear statues inside. But what they are are kind of cupboards for the scrolls,” said Dr Dirk Schmitz from the Roman-Germanic Museum of Cologne. “They are very particular to libraries – you can see the same ones in the library at Ephesus.”

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Ancient Roman Library Discovered Beneath German City

The excavation of the ancient library in Cologne, Germany.
Credit: Roman-Germanic Museum of Cologne

Beneath the soil in Cologne, Germany, lies a bibliophile's dream: an ancient Roman library that once held up to 20,000 scrolls, according to news reports.

Archaeologists discovered the epic structure in 2017 while they were excavating the grounds of a Protestant church to build a new community center. Considering Cologne is one of Germany's oldest cities, founded in A.D. 50, it's no surprise that it still has structures dating back to Roman times.

However, archaeologists didn't figure out that the structure was a library until they found mysterious holes in the walls, each measuring about 31 inches by 20 inches (80 by 50 centimeters), The Guardian reported.

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