Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Roman town’s remains found below Northamptonshire field on HS2 route

A 10-metre-wide Roman road was uncovered during the excavation of a wealthy trading settlement, known as Blackgrounds, in Northamptonshire. Photograph: HS2/PA

A wealthy Roman trading town, whose inhabitants adorned themselves with jewellery and ate from fine pottery, has been discovered half a metre below the surface of a remote field in Northamptonshire.

A 10-metre-wide Roman road, domestic and industrial buildings, more than 300 coins and at least four wells have been unearthed at the site, where 80 archaeologists have been working for the past 12 months.

The field, on the Northamptonshire-Oxfordshire border, lies on the route of the HS2 rail network under construction between London and Birmingham. It is one of more than 100 archaeological sites that have been examined along the route since 2018, and among the most significant findings to date.

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Monday, January 10, 2022

Along Hadrian’s Wall, ancient Rome’s temples, towers, and cults come to life

Punctuated with the remains of a milecastle (small fort), Hadrian’s Wall stretches over hilly terrain near Haltwhistle in Northumberland, England. This year, the Roman landmark will be 1,900 years old.
Photograph by Nigel Hicks, Nat Geo Image Collection

New discoveries are still rising from the coast-to-coast wall that once marked the edge of the Roman Empire.

Hadrian’s Wall once marked the extent of the Roman empire in Britannia. Now it’s a pitstop on the way to Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, or the country’s largest city, Glasgow. Things have changed over the past two thousand years.

But the 73-mile-long chain of walls, ditches, towers, and forts—which stretches across Great Britain, linking the North Sea and the Irish Sea—continues to fascinate. This year, 1,900 years after construction began, soldiers clad in Roman armor will once again patrol its length and the sounds of ancient instruments will float over its ramparts.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Tiles ‘Fit for the Emperor’ Found in Roman Ruins Beneath English Cricket Club

 

The letters "IMP" stand for imperator, meaning the tile maker was "supplying tiles fit for the emperor" or "on the emperor's demands." Dot Boughton

Excavation of a Roman building on the grounds of a cricket club in the northern English city of Carlisle has yielded tiles with rare imperial stamps linked to Emperor Septimius Severus, reports Ted Peskett for the News & Star.

“The Romans would quite often stamp their tiles,” says archaeologist Frank Giecco, who is leading the dig for British firm Wardell Armstrong. “The legions would stamp tiles, the auxiliaries would stamp tiles; but this is the very top of the pile. This is the imperial court stamping the tile.”

Giecco says similar tiles have previously been found “in random places” across Carlisle. Since researchers discovered the ruined bathhouse in 2017, they’ve uncovered about a dozen of the tiles there, suggesting that the others also originated at the site.

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Monday, September 27, 2021

Amateur divers discover 'enormously valuable' hoard of Roman coins

 


Two amateur free divers have found one of the largest collections of Roman coins in Europe off the east coast of Spain.

Luis Lens and César Gimeno were diving off the island of Portitxol in Xàbia on August 24 when they found eight coins, before further dives by archaeologists returned another 45 coins, according to a press release from the University of Alicante on Tuesday.
 
Scientists from the university's Institute in Archaeology and Historical Heritage then analyzed the perfectly preserved coins, dating them to between the end of the 4th century and the beginning of the 5th century.
 
The coins were in such good condition that the inscriptions were legible, allowing the team to identify coins from the reign of a number of Roman emperors.

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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Ancient Roman road and dock discovered in Venice lagoon

A digital reconstruction of the Roman road submerged in the Venice lagoon, which seems to have been part of a road system in the Veneto region.
Photograph: A Calandriello and G D’Acunto/SWNS

Find could prove there were human settlements in area centuries before city was founded

The discovery of the remains of a Roman road and dock submerged in the Venice lagoon could prove there were permanent human settlements in the area centuries before Venice was founded, researchers say.

Scuba divers discovered what appeared to be paving stones beneath the lagoon in the 1980s, but only after more recent research were the relics confirmed to have formed part of a road system.

“After speaking to those who first found these stones in the 1980s, I understood that it was something significant that could be anthropic,” said Fantina Madricardo, a researcher at the Venice-based Institute of Marine Science (Ismar) whose study was published this week in the Scientific Reports journal.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Cock of the north: Roman stone-carved penis uncovered during Yorkshire archaeological dig

Roman stone-carved penis discovered near Catterick
(Northern Archaeological Associates)

A Roman stone-carved penis is one of thousands of artefacts discovered during half a decade of excavation work around the town of Catterick, it has been revealed.

The 11in phallus – complete with line of ejaculate – is believed to date back to the early years of the ancient empire’s occupation of Britain, which began in the first century AD.

It is among more than 62,000 historical objects unearthed during five years of archaeological digs undertaken as part of work to upgrade the A1 around the North Yorkshire town – which was founded by the Romans.

Other treasures include a 2,000-year-old pistachio nut – the oldest ever found in Britain – as well as pottery, incense burners, brooches and works of art which were probably brought from the Mediterranean.

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Wednesday, July 7, 2021

2,000-Year-Old Sarcophagus Found in England Reveals Roman Burial Practices


The north-facing orientation of the grave suggests it was a pagan burial.
(L-P Archaeology via Bath & North East Somerset Council)

Archaeologists in the city of Bath in southwest England have discovered an approximately 2,000-year-old Roman sarcophagus containing two bodies. The limestone coffin holds the preserved remains of one person in a prone position, with the partial remains of a second individual laid at their feet, the Bath Echo reports.

The north-facing orientation of the grave suggests it was a pagan burial. Nearby, researchers found a small pot containing food remains, as well as artifacts including small red and blue glass beads, possibly left as votive offerings. These types of donations to the gods were common in ancient Roman religion and represented a gift of thanks or payment, according to the Oxford Classical Dictionary.

“This is an amazing find,” says Sylvia Warman, science advisor for Historic England, in a statement. “Although several Roman stone coffins have been found around Bath in the past, none have been excavated and recorded by professional archaeologists using modern methods until today.”

Jesse Holth of ARTnews reports that the grave was buried beneath the grounds of Sydney Gardens, a Georgian pleasure garden once frequented by Jane Austen. Workers renovating and landscaping the garden for the Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Sydney Gardens Project discovered a Roman wall at the border of Bathwick Cemetery. When a team from L-P Archaeology excavated the site, they found the newly revealed burial. The archaeologists also uncovered cremated remains—the only known example of a cremation burial at the cemetery.