Sunday, August 2, 2020

New Roman fort uncovered in Lancashire after years of speculation

A Roman fort lies underneath land off Flax Lane, Burscough

Historic England says the lines of the fort’s defences are clearly identifiable on geophysical survey and aerial photos

A 1st Century fort uncovered at a Burscough farm could be the key to understanding Roman activity in Lancashire.

After years of speculation about the presence of such a fort, ruins off Flax Lane have finally received recognition from Historic England.

The ruins comprise a 30,000 sq m fort, roads, and a smaller fortlet and experts believe the find will unlock unknown details of how the Romans settled and travelled around the area. Considered alongside other forts in the region, including those at Wigan and Ribchester, Burscough’s will provide great insight into Roman military strategy. It is believed that the area was occupied multiple times over the course of hundreds of years, a theory which is backed up by the variety of pottery found at the site.

Historic England says the lines of the fort’s defences are clearly identifiable on geophysical survey and aerial photos, but the north-west and south-west corners are also visible as slight earthworks on Lidar, which uses laser light reflections to produce 3D images.

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The Romans Called it ‘Alexandrian Glass.’ Where Was It Really From?

Glass receptacles recovered from Egypt dating to the first or second century A.D., during the Roman occupation.  Credit...Artokoloro, via Alamy

Trace quantities of isotopes hint at the true origin of a kind of glass that was highly prized in the Roman Empire.

Glass was highly valued across the Roman Empire, particularly a colorless, transparent version that resembled rock crystal. But the source of this coveted material — known as Alexandrian glass — has long remained a mystery. Now, by studying trace quantities of the element hafnium within the glass, researchers have shown that this prized commodity really did originate in ancient Egypt.

It was during the time of the Roman Empire that drinks and food were served in glass vessels for the first time on a large scale, said Patrick Degryse, an archaeometrist at KU Leuven in Belgium, who was not involved in the new study. “It was on every table,” he said. Glass was also used in windows and mosaics.

All that glass had to come from somewhere. Between the first and ninth centuries A.D., Roman glassmakers in coastal regions of Egypt and the Levant filled furnaces with sand. The enormous slabs of glass they created tipped the scales at up to nearly 20 tons. That glass was then broken up and distributed to glass workshops, where it was remelted and shaped into final products.

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Archaeological dig on the A1 in North Yorkshire uncovers Roman remains

Archaeologists at work near Scotch Corner

Archaeologists excavating the A1 before the road's major upgrade have discovered fascinating evidence of Roman engineering and repair work.

The dig between Leeming Bar and Barton, near Scotch Corner, revealed that the Romans settled in North Yorkshire at least a decade earlier than previously thought. They produced coins for circulation and built relationships with the local tribes.

The modern A1 partly follows the route of Roman roads between York and Hadrian's Wall that were used mainly for the movements of legions based at the York garrison who were deployed to subdue the border regions.

Highways England, who oversaw the archaeological work ahead of the upgrade of the A1(M), believe the finds in the vicinity of Scotch Corner are among the best discoveries of the past decade, and a book about the excavations has now been published.

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Monday, July 27, 2020

Pompeii's most recent finds reveal new clues to city's destruction


Since its discovery several centuries ago, few archaeological sites have fascinated the world as has the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. After the first major excavations in more than 50 years, Pompeii is revealing a surprising abundance of buried treasures. The new finds are coming from intensive work in a small sector known as Region V that has nevertheless yielded giant insights into the final days of the doomed city.

Along with the complete excavation of two houses—the House of the Garden and the House of Orion—the dig has yielded frescoes, murals, and mosaics of mythological figures in gorgeous colors, skeletons with stories still to be unraveled, coins, amulets, and show horses in the stable of a wealthy landowner.

The new finds are also sparking debate about Pompeii’s tragic story. Just before Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79 and buried the city under a mantle of ash and rock, a local worker scrawled an inscription on a wall. Along with a joke (roughly translated as “he ate too much”), he wrote the date: October 17. The discovery of this inscription may confirm the view that the eruption took place in October, and not August, as some scholars maintain.

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Sunday, July 26, 2020

Archaelogical dig starts at Exeter Cathedral


An archaeological dig which has just started at Exeter Cathedral could uncover artefacts as far back as the Romans.

The first stone has been lifted in a six-week investigative dig where a new cloister gallery will ultimately be built.

Archaeologists want to find out what is below the paving slabs and grass which covers the area just outside the cathedral's chapter house, which has never been examined before.

The dig is expected to provide crucial information about the layout of the medieval cloister - which was torn down in 1657 - and the state of its foundations which, if still serviceable, will be reused for the new building.

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Roman jars found in Spanish seafood shop


Authorities conducting a routine inspection of a frozen seafood shop in Spain were surprised to find ancient artefacts decorating the premises.

The owner's son found the objects while fishing, according to local media.

Thirteen jars (amphoras) are believed to date back to the 1st Century AD, while an 18th Century anchor and a limestone plaque were also found.

Both the owner of the business in Alicante and his son are now being investigated.

"The amphoras could come from the looting of shipwrecks," which would be protected as objects of underwater archaeology, a statement by the Civil Guard said on Wednesday.

The artefacts were moved to the Museum of the Sea in Santa Pola, where they underwent preliminary dating.

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UN NOUVEL ÉTABLISSEMENT ANTIQUE DÉCOUVERT DANS LA PLAINE D'ALÉRIA (HAUTE-CORSE)


A Pietroso, dans la plaine d’Aléria au pied du Massif du Monte Incudine, les archéologues de l'Inrap ont mis au jour un vaste établissement rural de l'époque romaine, composé d'un étonnant ensemble de structures hydrauliques.

Une équipe d’archéologues de l’Inrap met actuellement au jour un établissement rural du IIIe siècle de notre ère, sur la commune de Pietroso, au pied du Massif du Monte Incudine à l’extrême ouest de la plaine d’Aleria. Sur prescription de l’État (DRAC de Corse), cette fouille, préalable à la construction d’un habitat résidentiel, est prise en charge à 100% par l’État, par le biais du fonds national pour l’archéologie préventive (Fnap). Elle apporte aujourd’hui d’intéressantes informations sur l’occupation antique en Corse.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Hadrian's Wall warning after man arrested for theft

Newcastle University

Historic England has been working with police after a number of thefts near the Military Road, and 44-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft last week.

Don O'Meara from Historic England says people can do untold harm to unique and historic finds.

It's not that one coin or that one brooch, often to get that prestige item they can be digging holes all over protected monuments, they can be disturbing artefacts, throwing away artefacts that they think have no value, and that's the real lost material."

Dean O'Meara

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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

New discoveries at the Underwater Park of Baia

Credit: Parco Archeologico Campi Flegrei

During the research activities that the Archaeological Park of the Phlegrean Fields is carrying out in view of the opening of new routes, a marble table support (trapezoforo) decorated with a feline head was recovered from the seabed this morning.

The operation was carried out by technicians from the Campi Flegrei Archaeological Park supported by the Harbour Master's Office - Locamare di Baia and Naumacos Underwater Archaeology.

Immediately after the recovery operations the find was transported to the laboratories of the Bay Castle for the first preservation measures.

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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Coal Mine in Serbia Gives up New Roman Treasure

An archaeologist looks at parts of a wooden Roman ship dated to the 3rd century AD, at the ancient city of Viminacium, near Kostolac, Serbia, May 28, 2020. REUTERS/Marko DjuricaREUTERS

BELGRADE (REUTERS) - AS the sun sank over a vast opencast coal mine in eastern Serbia earlier this month, a small crane eased the front half of a Roman ship from the steep sides of the pit.

An excavator cutting through the coal rich soil had pulled out some muddy timber weeks before, but coronavirus restrictions had meant the retrieval had to wait.

The ship was part of Viminacium, a sprawling Roman city of 45,000 people with a hippodrome, fortifications, a forum, palace, temples, amphitheatre, aqueducts, baths and workshops.

Lead archaeologist Miomir Korac said the vessel dated from the 3rd century AD when Viminacium was the capital of the Roman province of Moesia Superior and near a tributary of the Danube river.

"A Roman (river) fleet was based here to defend this region from barbarian invasions," he told Reuters. "Such findings of Roman ships are really rare, especially in such a good condition where one could see how the boat was built."

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Well-preserved Roman mosaic unearthed in Italian vineyard


SOAVE, Italy (AP) — Archaeologists have briefly revealed a well-preserved mosaic floor of an ancient Roman villa first discovered almost a century ago near the northern Italian city of Verona.

The mosaic in bright shades of red, pink, orange, purple and yellow appeared to be ’’in a good state of conservation,” from what archaeologists observed after gingerly digging a trench between vineyards in the hills of Valpolicella, Gianni de Zuccato, the official in charge of archaeology in Verona province, said Friday.

Mosaics revealing the site of an ancient villa were first discovered in 1922. Archaeologists have been doing partial digs to determine the scale of the original villa and in preparation to transform the area into a museum. The recent discovery of two nearby mosaic floors confirmed the villa extended north and south of the original site.

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Antiques Roadshow presenter stunned to discover ancient Roman site in garden

Antiques Roadshow expert Marc was shocked to make the discovery (Image: SWNS)

Antiques Roadshow expert, Marc Allum is on hand to guide owners through the history of their treasured items and has left many guests stunned with unexpected valuations. But the antiques expert was left speechless himself when he discovered his house had been built on an ancient Roman site after initially having his suspicions that the land may have a connection to King Alfred.

BBC viewers will know Marc as the miscellaneous expert who specialises in all the weird and wonderful items that don’t quite fit into any particular category.

But in an upcoming exclusive interview on The Arts Society Connected, Marc will be giving fans a glimpse into his own collection of antiques.

In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Marc revealed the three items he will be discussing in the lecture while revealing the unlikely discoveries he made in his garden.

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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Roman mosaic floor found under Italian vineyard

Local officials said scholars first found evidence of a villa at the site more than a century ago
COMUNE DI NEGRAR DI VALPOLICELLA

A Roman mosaic floor has been discovered under a vineyard in northern Italy after decades of searching.

Surveyors in the commune of Negrar di Valpolicella north of Verona published images of the well-preserved tiles buried under metres of earth.

According to officials, scholars first found evidence of a Roman villa there more than a century ago.

Technicians are still gently excavating the site to see the full extent of the ancient building.

Images posted online show the pristine mosaic as well as foundations of the villa.

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