Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Silver Treasure Found near Bulgaria’s Mezdra


A treasure of 187 silver Roman imperial coins was discovered during excavation works in the town of Mezdra, North-West Bulgaria. It has a great cultural-historical and numismatic value, experts say.

The silver treasure was in a clay pot and was found under the roots of an old tree. Historians define the coins as Roman imperial denarii and antonianians, which were minted for a period of two hundred years. They depict the faces of emperors and their wives who lived from the first half of the first century to the middle of the third century.

Archaeologists, however, argue that the find which is now in the museum in the city of Vratsa, is only a small part of the real treasure. It confirms again that in the place of today's Mezdra there was a rich central town with thousands of years of history.

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Monday, October 9, 2017

How the Romans fed their legions thousands of miles from home

Conquering Romans relied on resources from near and far to sustain their forces against the native tribes in Wales, according to new research by Cardiff University archaeologists.


In a study published in Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, Dr Peter Guest and Dr Richard Madgwick of the University’s School of History, Archaeology and Religion, used biochemical techniques of animal remains to reveal the origin of livestock supplied to the legionary fortress at Caerleon.

Prior to the study, leading theories argued that locally produced agricultural resources must have been vital in feeding and maintaining the substantial occupying army, though this idea was based on very limited evidence.

Using strontium isotope analysis to analyse the bones of domestic animals from the fortress, the researchers identified a mix of sources. Significantly, the diverse pattern of results does not suggest a centralised supply chain from near or far – results that challenge existing theories.

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Friday, October 6, 2017

A part of Hadrian's Wall has been found in Newcastle city centre, shedding new light on its route


Hadrians’s Wall has been uncovered during site investigations as part of a scheme to revive a historic building in Newcastle city centre.
The section of the wall has been revealed outside the Mining Institute on Westgate Road.
It was reportedly last seen during an excavation on the site in 1952.
But Simon Brooks, acting general manager of the Mining Institute, said: “There was some controversy about whether the Wall had been found. A lot of people were sceptical but now we have proof positive and we are delighted.”

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Rare tiles found near Basingstoke shed insight on Roman history


Evidence of one of the Roman Empire’s best-known rulers has been discovered near Basingstoke.
A team of archaeologists from the University of Reading has found three tiles bearing the stamp of Emperor Nero at a site in Little London.
The tiles date back almost 2,000 years, and were found earlier this month at the Roman Tile Kiln site.
Only 14 such tiles have ever been found in the UK, including another found at Little London back in 1925 and four discovered within a ritual put at a temple in nearby Silchester.
The University of Reading team is currently excavating a series of Roman kiln structures at the Little London site, which includes some huge brick and tile production facilities.
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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Unearthed near Hadrian’s Wall: lost secrets of first Roman soldiers to fight the barbarians

Dig team stumble across thousands of pristine artefacts at ancient Vindolanda garrison site in Northumberland


Dig volunteer Sarah Baker with one of the rare cavalry swords. 
Photograph: Sonya Galloway

Archaeologists are likening the discovery to winning the lottery. A Roman cavalry barracks has been unearthed near Hadrian’s Wall, complete with extraordinary military and personal possessions left behind by soldiers and their families almost 2,000 years ago. A treasure trove of thousands of artefacts dating from the early second century has been excavated over the past fortnight.

The find is significant not just because of its size and pristine state, but also for its contribution to the history of Hadrian’s Wall, showing the military build-up that led to its construction in AD122. The barracks pre-dates the wall: the Romans already had a huge military presence in the area, keeping the local population under control.

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Cache of Roman cavalry weapons found at Vindolanda

Swords, arrow heads and ballista bolts amongst a cache of artefacts discovered during cavalry barrack excavations at Roman Vindolanda.


Aerial view of remains of 4th century stone fort at Vindolanda 
[Credit: Sonya Galloway, Vindolanda Trust]

During the past few weeks archaeologists at the Roman fort of Vindolanda have made one remarkable discovery after another in what has been an exceptional year for the research excavations.

Test pit excavations, below the stone foundations of the last stone fortress revealed a layer of black, sweet smelling and perfectly preserved anaerobic, oxygen free, soils in an area where they were completely unexpected. Hidden in this soil were the timber walls and floors, fences, pottery and animal bones, from the abandonment of a Roman cavalry barrack. The excavated rooms included stables for horses, living accommodation, ovens and fireplaces.

While excavating the material from the corner of one of the living rooms a volunteer excavator made an outstanding discovery.

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UN VASTE DOMAINE ANTIQUE À CESSON-SÉVIGNÉ


À Cesson-Sévigné (Ille-et-Vilaine), en amont de l’aménagement des ZAC Atalante ViaSilva et Les Pierrins, une prescription de l’État (Drac Bretagne) conduit une équipe de l’Institut national de recherches archéologiques préventives à réaliser une fouille sur une surface de près de 7 hectares.

Cette intervention, démarrée le 26 juin 2017, a actuellement permis de mettre au jour une partie d’un vaste domaine rural gallo-romain, de type villa, ainsi qu’une portion du fossé ceinturant une motte castrale du Moyen Âge. Ces occupations anciennes s’inscrivent dans un espace traversé par un faisceau de voies, depuis la ville antique de Rennes et desservant Avranches, Jublains et Angers.

L’emprise de la fouille permet d’étudier la quasi-intégralité du domaine foncier antique et son insertion dans son environnement naturel. Ces découvertes contribueront ainsi à la compréhension de l’organisation des campagnes à l’époque gallo-romaine et leur mutation durant la période médiévale.

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Christopher Kissane: ‘Historical myopia is to blame for the attacks on Mary Beard’

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ‘legitimises autocracy with historical myths’.
Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
2017 Anadolu Agency

On the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the historian calls for an end to the trivialisation of the lessons of the past

Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther sparked a movement of Reformation that would leave indelible marks on European history. While some have used this anniversary as an opportunity for reflection, and others a chance to heal old wounds, 2017 finds us in an age of intense historical myopia. Breathless news cycles and furious outrage are shrinking our horizons just as they need to widen. Public debate barely remembers the world of last year, “old news”, let alone that of a decade or few ago.

History’s expertise, and most dangerously its perspective, are being lost in our inability to look beyond the here and now. We stumble into crises of finance and inequality with ignorance of economic history, and forget even the recent background to our current politics. We fail to think in the long term and miss a growing environmental catastrophe. We refuse help to millions of refugees by turning away from our own history. As technology and globalisation bring the world closer together, we have narrowed rather than broadened our perspective. With challenges on many fronts, history needs to be at the heart of how we think about our ever-changing world.

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Mary Beard is right – ‘Romans’ could be from anywhere, from Carlisle to Cairo


Mary Beard has faced ‘unnecessary insult, misogyny and language of war’ for defending the BBC cartoon.

The classics professor’s naysayers refuse to believe ancient civilisations could have been anything but Caucasian, but there is evidence that proves them wrong.

The wonderful Mary Beard has been sucked into another Twitter row – where she faced, in her words, “unnecessary insult, misogyny and language of war”. This latest tussle has been about her defence (which, as usual, was measured, graceful and – above all – well-informed) of a BBC cartoon showing a Roman British family with a black father. For some people this was infuriating, disgusting: a politically correct piece of anachronistic nonsense, throwing modern multicultural values back on to the past. And yet, as Prof Beard has pointed out, of course it is perfectly possible, even pretty likely, that such families existed in Roman Britain, and an entirely reasonable thing for the BBC cartoon to have posited.

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