Monday, July 21, 2014

Suspected Roman ritual pit found in Ewell dig


A suspected ritual pit from Roman times, containing a cow's skull, horse bones and possibly puppy bones, has been uncovered during an archaeological dig. 


The archaeological dig in Church Meadow, Ewell  [Credit: Jeremy Harte] 

The exciting discovery was made during a three-week dig in Church Meadow at the site of an important Roman road, Stane Street, in Ewell. 

Nearby at the Roman ritual site of Hatch Furlong, archaeologists have previously excavated deep shafts containing the remains of cats and dogs.

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Colosseum was bustling bazaar in Dark Ages


Its gory past as an arena for gladiatorial battles and gruesome public executions is well known, but archaeologists have discovered that the Colosseum later fulfilled a very different role - as a bustling medieval bazaar full of houses, stables and workshops. 




Archaeologists have found the foundations of homes, terracotta sewage pipes  and shards of crockery [Credit Gabrielli / Toiati] 

As the glory of Rome faded and the empire crumbled in the face of barbarian invasions in the fifth century, the giant arena was colonised by ordinary Romans, who constructed dwellings and shops within its massive stone walls. 

Archaeologists have dug beneath some of the 80 arched entrances that lead into the Colosseum and have found the foundations of homes, terracotta sewage pipes and shards of crockery, dating from the ninth century AD.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Vindolanda dig unearths rare Roman gold coin


The coin, bearing the image of Emperor Nero, dates from AD 64-65

A rare gold coin bearing the image of Roman emperor Nero has been unearthed in Northumberland.
Deputy director of excavations Justin Blake, left, with Marcel AlbertDeputy director of excavations Justin Blake, left, with Marcel Albert, who uncovered the rare coin
It is the first gold coin to be found at the Roman fort site of Vindolanda where archaeologists have been digging for more than 40 years.
Dr Andrew Birley, director of excavations, described it as a "special" find.
It is likely to be put on display at Vindolanda's museum once it has been fully researched and documented.
The coin was found by dig volunteer Marcel Albert, from Nantes in France.
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Demolitions reveal ancient Roman theater in Aegean town


The stage walls and entrance of a Roman-era amphitheater in ─░zmir’s Kadifekale neighborhood, once covered by expropriated shanty houses, have been unearthed due to the efforts of the ─░zmir Metropolitan Municipality.

The municipality has issued an order of expropriation on a 12,900-squaremeter area to unearth the ruins of the amphitheater. So far, 137 title deeds covering an area of 11,115 square meters have been purchased and 175 buildings have been demolished. The judicial process for the expropriation of the last 15 buildings in the area is ongoing, municipal officials noted.

Archeologists will start working in the area once the demolition is over.

HDN The most comprehensive information about the ancient theater in Kadifekale can be obtained in the studies of Austrian architects and archaeologists Otto Berg and Otto Walter, who conducted studies in the region in 1917 and 1918, from their plans and drawings. 

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Monday, June 16, 2014

TVAS News: North Berstead warrior burial, Bognor Regis


Archaeologists from TVAS have unearthed the grave of a warrior who died at around the time of Caesar's Gallic Wars, in the 50s BC.

The team, led by Andy Taylor, has been excavating in advance of a new housing development on behalf of Berkeley Homes (Southern) Limited and Persimmon Homes (South Coast) Limited.

These excavations have revealed Bronze age boundary ditches and occupation, a small hoard of four Middle Bronze Age bronze axes (palstaves), an Iron Age roundhouse and a Roman building, set amongst fields. But the chief interest lies in the finding of a rich, isolated burial, which is not part of a larger cemetery and is not otherwise distinguished from the rest of the site. The deceased, a mature male more than 30 years old, was laid out in a grave and was accompanied by grave goods.

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Monday, June 9, 2014

Researchers to use exosuit to search Antikythera wreck


Using the latest advances in technology and robotics, archaeology will strive to extract more secrets from an ancient shipwreck that once yielded the unique Antikythera Mechanism, representing one of humanity's earliest steps on the road to high technology. 


A diver will fly around the wreck of an ancient Greek ship later this year, looking to shed  light on the Antikythera mechanism [Credit: Greek Reporter] 

The 2000-year-old artifact, dubbed the world's first 'analog' computer, was recovered from a Roman-era ship that foundered off the island of Antikythera in the early 20th century and was first discovered by a local sponge diver. This coming summer, according to a report in the June issue of "New Scientist", Greek and American researchers will return to explore the depths around the shipwreck using a diver wearing a robotic 'exoskeleton' dubbed "Exosuit".

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Maryport Roman Settlement Excavation Yields New Finds


The Hadrian's Wall Trust's research and community archaeology project at the Maryport Roman settlement - directed by Oxford Archaeology North and funded by philanthropist Christian Levett - is revealing new evidence and raising more questions about this internationally famous site.

Site director John Zant said: "We're piecing together the complex story of the site over at least a couple of hundred years from around AD 100 to AD 300.

"From our work so far it's possible there may be an earlier fort than the remains we can see in the next field, and possibly even a lost Roman harbour to the north of the present day harbour.


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Friday, May 16, 2014

Roman military camp found in eastern Germany


Archaeologists have confirmed the presence of a long-lost Roman military camp deep in eastern Germany. The 18-hectare site, found near the town of Hachelbich in Thuringia, would have sheltered a Roman legion of up to 5000 troops. Its location in a broad valley with few impediments suggests it was a stopover on the way to invade territory further east.



Soil marks where Roman soldiers once dug a trench to defend their temporary camp [Credit: © TLDA] 

“People have been searching for evidence of the Romans in this part of Germany for 200 years,” says team leader Mario Kuessner, an archaeologist working for the state of Thuringia. “It took a long time before we realized what we had, and we wanted to be sure.”

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