Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Archaeologists in Cambridgeshire find graves of two men with legs chopped off

‘Somebody really, really didn’t like these guys,’ says Jonathan House, archaeologist with the Mola Headland Infrastructure team. 
Photograph: Highways England, courtesy of Mola Headland Infrastructure

Exclusive: men believed to be from late Roman or early Saxon period were found in pit being used as rubbish dump

The graves of two men whose legs were chopped off at the knees and placed carefully by their shoulders before burial have been discovered by archaeologists working on a huge linear site in advance of roadworks in Cambridgeshire.

The best scenario the archaeologists can hope for is that the unfortunate men were dead when their legs were mutilated. It also appears their skulls were smashed in, although that could be later damage.

“Was it to keep them in their graves and stop them from running away?” said Kasia Gdaniec, the senior archaeologist with Cambridge county council. “Or had they tried to run away and was this a punishment – and a warning to everyone else not even to think of it?”

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Bedfordshire's first Roman town wall unearthed in Sandy

Items discovered by Les Capon and his team include the skeleton of a woman, a funeral pyre, Roman rubbish and a pottery kiln

Archaeologists excavating a former allotment site in a market town have made the "absolutely brilliant" find of a previously-unknown Roman wall.

The dig in Sandy, Bedfordshire, has uncovered about 200 items dating from the Iron Age in 500 BC to the Saxon period in 800 AD.

Among the finds is the remains of a Saxon house.

The site, in Stratford Road, is to be turned into a cemetery, car park and council depot.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Imperial Roman villa found near Milvian Bridge

Credit: ANSA

An Imperial Roman villa has been found along the banks of the Tiber near the Milvian Bridge, archaeologists said Tuesday.
Digs have uncovered a large floor area in 'opus sectile', decorated with "extraordinary" multicoloured marble floral motifs, they said.

The beauty of the floor has led experts to believe that the rest of the building was full of precious decorations.

The villa's setting so close to the river is unusual, archaeologists said.

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MISE AU JOUR D’UNE VILLA DE L’ANTIQUITÉ


À Vire (Calvados), l’Inrap conduit depuis la fin du mois de février 2018 une fouille d’envergure, sur prescription de l’Etat (Drac Normandie). Cette opération s’inscrit dans le cadre de l’extension du Parc d’activités La Papillonnière menée par la communauté de communes Intercom de la Vire au Noireau.

Les recherches d’une équipe d’archéologues ont permis de mettre au jour les vestiges d’une villa gallo-romaine occupée du Ier au IIIe siècle de notre ère. Ils témoignent de la richesse de son propriétaire. À l’ouest de la villa, le site livre également les vestiges d’une occupation plus tardive, entre les VIIe et Xe siècles.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

How Jesus Died: Rare Evidence of Roman Crucifixion Found

This cross was erected inside the Roman Colosseum as a monument to the suffering of early Christians in Rome. The Christian Bible describes the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as occurring in Jerusalem under Roman rule at the beginning of the Christian era.
Credit: Jared I. Lenz Photography/Getty

The body of a man buried in northern Italy 2,000 years ago shows signs that he died after being nailed to a wooden cross, the method used for the execution of Jesus described in the Christian Bible.
Although crucifixion was a common form of capital punishment for criminals and slaves in ancient Roman times, the new finding is only the second time that direct archaeological evidence of it has been found.
A new study of the skeletal remains of the man, found near Venice in 2007, reveals a lesion and unhealed fracture on one of the heel bones that suggests his feet had been nailed to a cross. 
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Roman Tomb Unearthed; to Everyone’s Surprise, It’s Intact

Some of the funerary wares found in a chamber tomb near Rome.CreditRomano D'Agostino, Special Superintendence for Rome

ROME — Sometimes the most extraordinary finds occur by sheer luck.
At least that was the case of a fourth century B.C. chamber tomb that came to light five weeks ago during the construction of an aqueduct in a Rome suburb, when an earthmover accidentally opened a hole in the side of the chamber.
“Had the machine dug just four inches to the left, we would have never found the tomb,” Francesco Prosperetti, Rome’s special superintendent with archaeological oversight, told reporters on Friday. The tomb contained the remains of four occupants — three men and a woman — and funerary wares.
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Monday, May 7, 2018

Roman relics found in Rhine region show evidence of bloody uprising


One of the ancient Roman helmets found in the recent excavation in Krefeld. Photo: DPA

In the North Rhine-Westphalian town of Krefeld, a recent archaeological dig revealed thousands of ancient relics. These finds tell the story of the region’s turbulent Roman history.
Tens of thousands of artefacts were dug out of sand and clay near the Rhine, archaeologists in Krefeld announced in April.

A recent 10-month excavation along the Rhine revealed a wealth of previously-unseen Roman ruins, including hundreds of coins, weapons, horse skeletons, jewellery, helmets, and the artfully decorated belt buckle of a soldier. Packed in boxes, the relics span over 75 cubic metres. 

In the small town just outside Düsseldorf, nearly 6,500 graves were found dating from between 800 BC and 800 AD, which often contained valuable burial objects. It is one of the largest ancient cemeteries north of the Alps. 

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Skeleton of child trying to shelter from Vesuvius eruption uncovered in Pompeii

The skeleton of the child, thought to be aged seven or eight, found at Pompeii

Archeologists in Pompeii have discovered the skeleton of a child who tried in vain to hide from the cataclysmic eruption of Mt Vesuvius nearly 2,000 years ago.

It is the first time in about 50 years that a child’s skeleton has been found in the remains of the ancient Roman city, which lies just south of Naples and was destroyed in AD79.

The child, believed to be seven or eight years old, apparently took refuge in a public baths complex after the volcano erupted and started spewing ash and pumice into the air.

But the building could not save the terrified youngster from the effects of the eruption, which was witnessed by Pliny the Younger.

It is believed that he or she was not killed by falling debris, but instead suffocated by the clouds of scorching ash that enveloped the city, a thriving port on the Bay of Naples.

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The biggest status symbol in the Nordic Iron Age was a goose

A woman buried with a sheep is typical of the graves throughout the Roman Iron Age (in the Nordic countries). Other animal species (including sheep) are found in younger periods and demonstrate Roman influence. (Photo: Kroppedal Museum)

Forget about Gucci bags, gold jewellery, and fast cars. In the Nordic Roman Iron Age, the best status symbol was a goose. Alternatively a hen.

That is the conclusion made by Danish scientists after studying almost 100 graves from the Early and Late Roman Iron Age (1-375 CE).

They further posit that the Roman influence led to a significant shift in the way in which Scandinavians buried their dead.

One of the changes was the custom of burying people with different species of animals – and the newly introduced hens and geese were especially high-ranking status symbols.

“We don’t have these kinds of poultry before Christ, so it is clearly associated with the Roman life and Roman status. In the Roman Empire, hens and geese were a common burial gift, while in Denmark they were new and exotic species,” says Anne Birgitte Gotfredsen from the Natural History Museum of Denmark at the University of Copenhagen.

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Colourful past of Scotland's Roman wall

THE HUNTERIAN/ UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW
The Summerston distance stone from the Antonine Wall, which was found near Bearsden, was one artefact successfully tested for pigment

Parts of the Roman Empire's most north western frontier were likely to have been painted in bright colours, new research has found.

The Antonine Wall was built across central Scotland from Old Kilpatrick in the west to Bridgeness in the east.

Now an expert at Glasgow University has used cutting edge technology to examine the remnants of the structure.

And archaeologist Louisa Campbell has found that "distance stones" were painted vibrant red and yellow.

She said the coloured stones were used by the Romans to demonstrate their power over local people.

"The public are accustomed to seeing these sculptures in bland greys, creams, white (for marble) and don't get the full impact that they would have had on the Roman and indigenous audiences 2,.000 years ago," she added.

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