Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Roman goddess unearthed at South Shields culture spot


Delighted volunteers at a South Shields culture spot had a blast from the past after unearthing a Roman goddess. 

Volunteers from the WallQuest community archaeology project and the Earthwatch Institute made the startling discovery at Arbeia Roman Fort. 

The dramatic discovery is a beautifully crafted miniature bronze figure of the Roman goddess Ceres which is thought to be a mount from a larger piece of furniture. 

Ceres was the goddess of agriculture, grain and fertility which is a highly appropriate goddess for Arbeia because it was a supply base where thousands of tons of grain were stored in granaries to feed the army stationed along Hadrian’s Wall.

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Restored Pompeii kitchens show how Romans cooked


The ancient Roman kitchens of a Pompeii launderette have once again been kitted out with pots and pans as part of a new project that is trying to give visitors a sense of what day-to-day life in the city was like.


The kitchens at the Fullonica di Stephanus 
[Credit: Archaeological Superintendency of Pompeii]

Before they were buried by a volcanic eruption in AD 79, the kitchens once provided food for the hungry attendants of the three-storey launderette, the Fullonica di Stephanus.

The Fullonica was the place where wealthy Roman patricians sent their togas to be washed in huge baths using clay and urine. The garments were then rinsed, dried and placed on special presses to ensure they returned to their noble owners crease-free.

Thanks to a refurbishment which finished on Monday, the kitchens inside the Fullonica now appear as they did 2,000 years ago, complete with metal grills, pots, pans and earthenware crockery.

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Ceres Figurine Found In South Shields


A beautifully crafted miniature bronze figure of the Roman goddess Ceres was found by volunteers from the WallQuest community archaeology project and the Earthwatch Institute at Arbeia Roman Fort, South Shields.


The figure of the Roman goddess Ceres uncovered in South Shields 
[Credit: Arbeia Fort]

The artifact thought to be a mount from a larger piece of furniture. Ceres was the goddess of agriculture, grain and fertility which is a highly appropriate goddess for Arbeia because it was a supply base where thousands of tons of grain were stored in granaries to feed the army stationed along Hadrian’s Wall.

This is the second goddess that the WallQuest project has found at Arbeia in two years. In 2014, a local volunteer found a carved stone head of a protective goddess, ortutela.

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High-Tech Tools Yield Roman Discovery


A team of Duke scholars and students spent this summer at two historic sites in Italy and made significant discoveries. The team, based in part in the dig@lab, a digital laboratory run by Maurizio Forte, a professor of classical studies and art, art history and visual studies, discovered two Roman Empire-era facilities, a public building and an amphitheater.

The project team included Duke faculty members Bill Seaman, David Johnson, Todd Berreth and Regis Kopper, as well as Nevio Danelon, a post-doctoral fellow; Katherine McKusker, PhD student; Benedict Parfit, an undergraduate student. Everette Newton, who works with Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment's marine lab, piloted the drone used in the excavation. The team also included scholars from other universities.

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Decorated Roman bronze belt found in Leicester excavations


Archaeologists from University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) have recently excavated a Late Roman cemetery at Western Road in Leicester’s West End. Amongst the 83 skeletons recorded by the team, one burial is proving to be very exciting.

The simple grave in question had been dug into mudstone on the west bank of the River Soar, to the south-west of the Roman town close to the important road known as the Fosse Way. Buried in the grave were the remains of a middle-aged man wearing an elaborately decorated belt in a style that would have been worn by a Late Roman soldier or civil servant during the second half of the 4th century or the early 5th century AD.
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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Rome Shows Off Cleaned-Up Colosseum

Rome's Colosseum was visibly cleaner on Friday as Italy showed off the latest phase of restoration of one of its most famous landmarks.



A view of the Colosseum after the latest stage of restoration by luxury goods firm Tod's in Rome 
[Credit: Reuters]
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, speaking on a stage in the amphitheatre built to host gladiatorial contests nearly 2,000 years ago, hailed the mammoth clean-up project as an example for protecting the country's vast cultural heritage.

Italy's monuments were neglected for decades amid shrinking government funding and alleged mismanagement, which put some of its 51 UNESCO World Heritage sites at risk of crumbling.


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Monday, July 4, 2016

The Discovery of a Roman Gladiator School Brings the Famed Fighters Back to Life


Located in Austria, the archaeological site is providing rich new details about the lives and deaths of the arena combatants


Woolfgang Neubauer stands in the grassy clearing and watches a drone soar low over distant stands of birch and white poplar, the leaves still speckled with overnight rain. Vast fields of wheat roll away north and south under a huge dome of sky. “I’m interested in what lies hidden beneath this landscape,” says the Austrian archaeologist. “I hunt for structures now invisible to the human eye.”

On the edge of the meadow, two boys stand a long way apart, arms clenched by their sides, punting a soccer ball very slowly and carefully from one to the other. Neubauer studies them keenly. A professor at the Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science, he’s an authority on the first games played on this ersatz pitch, a blood sport popular a couple of millennia ago. “You see a field,” he tells a visitor from the United States. “I see a gladiator school.”

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ARCHAEOLOGISTS FIND PRESERVED WOODEN STRUCTURE FROM MOAT BRIDGE AT WESTERN GATE OF ANCIENT SERDICA IN BULGARIA’S SOFIA


The archaeologists who have carried out the recent preparatory excavations of the Western Gate of the AncientRoman city of Serdica, the predecessor of today’s Bulgarian capital Sofia, have discovered a wooden structure which was probably part of an ancient moat bridge.
The excavations of Serdica’s Western Gate started in May 2016, and were wrapped up in a month to prepare the site for a restoration project funded by the Norway Grants and EEA Grants with nearly BGN 947,000 (app. EUR 500,000), which is supposed to be executed over the summer.
One of the most interesting finds dating back to the 2nd-4th century AD that have been unearthed by the archeological team are the wooden remains from a bridge of Roman Serdica. The discovered wooden structure was probably used to prop up the bridge. It was found right in the section right in front of the Western Gate.
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Rare Roman building revealed in southern England's Meon Valley


A recent archaeological dig near Meonstoke, Hampshire, has revealed the foundations of a Roman building with a very rare hexagonal shape.


Rare Roman building revealed in southern England's Meon Valley
The remains of the hexagonal building in Meonstoke 
[Credit: University of Winchester]

The discovery was made by the amateur Meon Valley Archaeology and Heritage Group, led by University of Winchester archaeologist Dr Nick Stoodley, using geophysical equipment on loan from Historic England.

“Only one other like this has been discovered in Britain,” said Tony King, Professor of Roman Archaeology at the University of Winchester and director of the excavation. “It is a wonderful chance for the University’s undergraduate students to excavate such a site. We are speculating whether we are seeing a pagan temple or some other type of building, and we have uncovered a Roman bathhouse very close by.”

Meonstoke villagers Alison Smalley and John Snow have been organising support from the other Meon Valley villages. Armed with trowels and kneels, around eighty people of all ages took part in groups of 12 a day.

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LA VILLA GALLO-ROMAINE DE MAUBEC À MONTÉLIMAR


En amont de la construction du lotissement « Les Terrasses de Maubec »  par PRODEVAR, filiale de GGL Groupe, les archéologues de l’Inrap fouillent, jusqu’au 22 juillet, une emprise de 5 000 m2. Réalisée sur prescription de l’État (Drac Auvergne Rhône-Alpes), cette opération porte sur l’étude d’une villaconstruite à flanc de coteaux aux IIe-IIIe siècles de notre ère. 
Ce domaine agricole gallo-romain s’inscrit dans un ensemble d’établissements similaires qui émaillent le paysage et qui, probablement, ravitaillent le bourg, déjà existant, de Montélimar.

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Friday, July 1, 2016


One of the largest and well-preserved theatres of Greek antiquity opened to the public for the first time after 2,000 years last week in the city of Larissa in Thessaly, Greece.

Dating back to the early third century BC, the ancient theatre of Larissa lies on the south slope of the Medieval fortress at the city's heart, archaeologist Stavroula Sdrolia, head of the seventh Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities said.

In antiquity, apart from theatrical performances, it also hosted the assemblies of the senior regional authority, while at the end of the first century BC, it was turned into a Roman arena, she explained.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

THE DAY OF ARCHAEOLOGY 2016 WILL BE HELD ON FRIDAY 29 JULY!




We are looking for people working, studying or volunteering in the archaeological world to participate with us in a “Day of Archaeology” in July 2016. The resulting Day of Archaeology website will demonstrate the wide variety of work our profession undertakes day-to-day across the globe, and help to raise public awareness of the relevance and importance of archaeology to the modern world. We want anyone with a personal, professional or voluntary interest in archaeology to get involved, and help show the world why archaeology is vital to protect the past and inform our futures.

Explore posts from previous years here...

Boundaries of Roman Empire redrawn after Devon archaeological dig

The Ipplepen Archaeological Project began its fieldwork for this year two weeks ago

The boundaries of the Roman Empire have been expanded following the discovery of Roman coins in a rural village.
Amateur metal detectorists Jim Wills and Dennis Hewings first unearthed the coins in Ipplepen, Devon, in 2009.
Now archaeologists have uncovered a Romano-British settlement which had trade links to the rest of the Empire.
Dr Sam Moorhead, from the British Museum, said the site raised "a whole series of new questions" about Roman Devon.

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Skeletons, Coins Found In Dig Of Ancient Pompeii Shop


Italian and French archaeologists have discovered four skeletons and gold coins in the ruins of an ancient shop on the outskirts of Pompeii, officials said Friday.

An Italian and French archaeologist team, digging in the outskirts of Porta Ercolano, Pompeii, have discovered four skeletons and gold coins in the ruins of an ancient shop. Pompeii archaeological site officials said the skeletons are those of young people, including an adolescent girl, who perished in the back of the shop when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79. [Credit: Pompeii Archaeological Site Press Office via AP]
The skeletons are those of young people, including an adolescent girl, who perished in the back of the shop near the ancient Roman town when Mount Vesuvius erupted and covered it in ash in 79, said a statement from the area office of the famous archaeological site near Naples.

Three gold coins and a necklace's pendant were scattered among the bones. In the workshop was an oven which archaeologists think might have been used to make bronze objects.


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Roman Burials Discovered In East England


A previously undiscovered Roman cemetery has been found by archaeologists working on a Lincoln city centre site. The skeletal remains of two babies and an adult, plus ashes in an urn, were uncovered by the team preparing the ground for the University of Lincoln's new Sarah Swift building. And archaeologists working on the land between High Street and Brayford Wharf East are excited because the major finds further emphasise the importance of Lindum as a Roman centre.

No indications of a Roman cemetery had been found in the Lincoln area until 
an excavation at the city's university [Credit: © Allen Archaeology Ltd]
City archaeologist Alastair MacIntosh said: "Previous archaeological work in the area has revealed evidence of Roman buildings dating from the 1st century onwards. And until now it was thought that the area was only used for housing, so this is an exciting discovery."
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