Monday, September 16, 2019

New finds beef up case for redrawing map of Roman empire

The remains of a high-quality Romano-British butcher’s business and centre for crafts have been unearthed by archaeologists in Devon. Photograph: Handout

Dig at Ipplepen extends Roman realm of influence further south-west in UK than Exeter

The remains of a high-quality Romano-British butcher’s business and centre for crafts have been unearthed by archaeologists in Devon.

Experts believe the fourth-century abattoir was set up to prepare the best cuts of beef that were transported to customers miles away along a Roman road found at the site.

They suggest the butchers at Ipplepen, near Newton Abbot in south Devon, worked alongside a string of talented craftspeople specialising in deer antler, leather and textiles.

Previous digs at Ipplepen have unearthed Roman coins, a stretch of Roman road and the remnants of vessels from France and the Mediterranean once full of wine, olive oil and garum – fish sauce.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Pompeii archaeologists uncover 'sorcerer's treasure trove'

Artefacts thought to be part of a sorcerer's treasure trove on display in Pompeii (12 August)
Most of the artefacts would have belonged to women - possibly slaves or servants

Archaeologists working in the buried Roman city of Pompeii say they have uncovered a "sorcerer's treasure trove" of artefacts, including good-luck charms, mirrors and glass beads.

Most of the items would have belonged to women, said Massimo Osanna, director of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii.

A room with the bodies of 10 victims, including women and children, was excavated in the same house.

Pompeii was engulfed by a volcanic eruption from Mt Vesuvius in AD 79.

The fatal eruption froze the city and its residents in time, making it a rich source for archaeologists.

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Monday, August 12, 2019

Large Roman tomb unearthed in south Italian town of Ugento

Credit: Telerama News

Just outside the present-day town centre of Ugento in the province of Lecce, Apulia (southern Italy), during the course of excavations arranged by the Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for the provinces of Brindisi, Lecce and Taranto on private property, evidence has come to light that brings new data for the reconstruction of the history of Ugento: in addition to some wall structures probably dating back to the Middle Ages, a burial of great interest for the study of funerary rituals has emerged.

"It was a plain pit in which three individuals had been deposited at successive times", explains the Superintendence. "The grave, probably dating back to the Roman-Republican Age, has yielded 4 coins not yet legible and a grey oil lamp."

"Once the skeletons had been removed, four pits came to light inside which the remains of the earlier inhumations and some accompanying objects had been deposited: in particular, a bowl and an undecorated miniature vase, perhaps belonging to the third century BC, as well as an oinochoe (a container for mixing wine) dating back to the Hellenistic period, had been carefully buried inside one of the pits."

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Monday, August 5, 2019

Roman bath house discovered under former Jack's store in Colchester


A PLETHORA of important archaeological discoveries including a Roman bath house have been made during an excavation.
Several historic artefacts, including the remains of what would have been a large Roman bath house, have been unearthed on St Nicholas Road under the former hardware shop, Jack’s.
The ancient spa-esque facility, used for public bathing, was identifiable by the discovery of essential components, such as the hollow and ceramic flues which would have lined both the walls and floors of the house’s different rooms.
Evidence further confirming the famous Boudican revolt, which caused the destruction of modern Colchester in AD 61, was also discovered.
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Friday, August 2, 2019

I went to Ancient Rome and all I got you was this…

The witty message on the stylus has been deciphered by a classicist and epigrapher. Courtesy MOLA

This humble London-Roman stylus with a witty message is mixing it up with the treasures of Pompeii

Whether as giver or receiver, most people have experienced the deliberately naff holiday present. But few know how this droll practice has a long tradition that stretches back – way beyond the rise of the English seaside town – deep into antiquity.

At the Museum of London, excavations led by MOLA for financial technology and information company Bloomberg’s European headquarters in London, on the bank of the river Walbrook – a now lost tributary of the Thames, have found a roguish example of the token of friendship.

An iron stylus, used to write on wax-filled wooden writing tablets and dating to around AD 70, just a few decades after Roman London was founded, has been found with an inscription, which has been painstakingly examined and translated by classicist and epigrapher Dr Roger Tomlin, reads:

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Thursday, August 1, 2019

Anglesey skeletons: Tests date remains to 4th Century


Tests showed some of the people buried up to 1,600 years ago were from Scandinavia and the Mediterranean  Image copyright ARCHAEOLOGY WALES

Some of the skeletons found in an ancient graveyard on Anglesey date back to the 4th Century, experts have said.

Wales Archaeology, which led the college dig, found the remains of 34 individuals. Some had been buried in stone-lined coffins.

Tests showed some of the people buried up to 1,600 years ago were from Scandinavia and the Mediterranean.

Other remains were from the Welsh borders and four were Brits, said project manager Dr Irene Garcia Rovira.

The findings have been made public following digs carried out during work on the Llangefni link road in 2016 and Coleg Menai's nearby campus the year after.

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Nearly 100 Roman era skeletons discovered under a North Wales college

Roman era human remains have been found underneath an Anglesey college.

Skeletons buried in dozens of stone-lined 'cist' graves were discovered as part of an archaeological dig under Coleg Menai’s Pencraig Campus in Llangefni 2017.

Two years on, Dr Irene Garcia Rovira of Archaeology Wales has now revealed all about the "astonishing finds" as part of the major excavation.

So far, the remains of 86 people have been discovered at the ancient burial ground, which experts say have remained in "astonishingly good" condition.

They are thought to date back more than 1,600 years.

The archaeologist also says tests reveal how some of the skeletons buried in the cemetery are likely to have grown up hundreds of miles away from Anglesey.


Experts believe the site was used as a cemetery from around the time of the Roman departure from Wales.

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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Rare relics of an Iron Age warrior who fought the Romans

The helmet and crest of the Iron Age warrior. Photo Allan HutchingsPhotography

As the Novium in Chichester prepares to display the late Iron Age Bersted Warrior and his possessions in January 2020, we talk to archaeologist James Kenny about one of the most spectacular warrior burials ever found in Britain

When archaeologists arrived to investigate a grave discovery on the site of a new housing development near Chichester in West Sussex, they had little idea what was awaiting them.

A large scale archaeological excavation had been taking place ahead of the development in 2008 at North Bersted, and when the grave was uncovered Chichester District Council’s archaeologist, James Kenny, was one of the first people to view it.

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Iron Age warrior's remains to go on show in Chichester


The grave contained "significant" artefacts
Chichester District Council

The remains of an Iron Age warrior and his possessions - hailed as a "spectacular discovery" by archaeologists - are to go on display.

Weaponry and other artefacts were found alongside the ancient fighter during excavations at a site near Chichester, West Sussex.

It is thought the grave belonged to someone of high status.

The man, who may have fought alongside a Roman king, will be the centre-piece of an exhibition at a city museum.

A team from Thames Valley Archaeological Services found the grave on land at North Bersted, near Bognor Regis, in 2008.

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Grave of 'real-life Asterix' who fought Caesar found amid trove of weapons and possessions in West Sussex

'Unique find': the artefacts have been carefully studied for the last decade CREDIT: PA

The grave of a real-life Asterix containing what is believed to be an ancient Gallic warrior who came to Britain and fought Julius Caesar has been discovered, archaeologists have announced.

The unique and highly-elaborate resting place was found on a West Sussex building site.

The Iron Age warrior, buried with his glamorous and ornate head-dress, is thought to have been a refugee French Gallic fighter who fled Julius Caesar's legionnaires as they swept across continental Europe in about 50BC.

Archaeologists have described the discovery, which will go on display at Chichester's Novium Museum in January 2020, as "the most elaborately equipped warrior grave ever found in England".

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