Friday, July 21, 2017

Extremely rare Roman sarcophagus lifted from ancient Southwark burial site

rchaeologists prepare to lift the lid of Roman sarcophagus found in Southwark, London 
[Credit: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire]

This is an exceptional find for London, where only two similar late Roman sarcophagi have been discovered in their original place of burial in recent years: one from St Martin-in-the Fields near Trafalgar Square (2006) and one from Spitalfields in 1999.

The excavation, which began in January this year, revealed a large robber trench around the coffin and found that the lid had been moved, suggesting that the coffin was discovered and robbed in the past. However, it is possible that only the precious items were removed, and the less valuable artefacts, such as the body itself, still remain within the stone sarcophagus.

Southwark and the City of London are remarkable in being the only two London Boroughs that have their own, in-house, dedicated archaeologist. Southwark Council champions archaeology and has dedicated planning policies to ensure that the borough’s ancient history is identified, protected and managed for future generations. The Harper Road excavation is just one of the many archaeological projects that are currently running across Southwark.

Read the rest of this article...

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

More extraordinary Roman writing tablets found at Vindolanda Roman Fort


More ‘Vindolanda writing tablets’ full of visible cursive Latin text have been unearthed at Vindolanda Roman Fort, on Hadrian’s Wall

Archaeologists at Vindolanda Roman Fort on Hadrian’s Wall have discovered a new hoard of around 25 Roman ink documents, known as the Vindolanda writing tablets, as part of an extraordinary excavation season at the archaeological site.

Found during the latest dig at the former Roman Army encampment, the tablets containing letters, lists and personal correspondence were discovered lying in the damp and anaerobic earth where they had been discarded towards the end of the 1st century AD.

Read the rest of this article...

Roman 'domus' with mosaic floors unearthed in Auch, France


Excavation of Roman Imperial-era domus in Auch, France 
[Credit: © Jean-Louis Bellurget, Inrap]

Archaeologists have discovered the ruins of a luxurious 5th-century Roman palace in Auch in the Gers – and they face a race against time to excavate it. 

Abandoned some 16 centuries ago, this aristocratic ‘domus’ possessed private baths and splendid mosaics on the ground. It was close to the centre of the ancient Roman city of Augusta Auscorum, which was the capital of the province of Novempopulanie - and near the centre of the modern town of Auch.

Originally found by the landowner digging foundations to build a house, just 50cm below the surface the impressive 2-metre-deep ruins have been revealed. Since the end of April, l’Institut National de Recherches Archéologiques Préventives (Inrap) has been bringing to light a part of what was once a vast aristocratic home.

Read the rest of this article...

Ancient roman sarcophagus found at London building site


An ancient Roman sarcophagus has been excavated from a building site in central London.
The 1,600-year-old coffin found near Borough Market is thought to contain the remains of a member of nobility.
Archaeologists have been unable to identify the body as the stone coffin has been left filled with soil after being robbed, experts believe.
The sarcophagus will now be taken to the Museum of London's archive for analysis.
The coffin was found several metres underground with its lid slid open, which indicates it was plundered by 18th century thieves.

Read the rest of this article...

Monday, July 17, 2017

Roman coin find in Orkney thrills archaeologists

The coin was uncovered in a dig on Rousay in Orkney

Archaeologists are thrilled by the discovery of a Roman coin during the excavation of an archaeological site in Orkney.
The copper alloy coin was found at the Knowe of Swandro, the location of a Neolithic chambered tomb, Iron Age roundhouses and Pictish buildings.
The archaeological site is at risk from coastal erosion.
Roman finds have been made before in Orkney, and other Scottish islands including the Western Isles.
The coin found in the Knowe of Swandro dig on Rousay is believed to date from the mid 4th Century AD.
Read the rest of this article...

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Roman oil and wine pottery found at Ipplepen dig site

Archaeologists washing evidence of the iron works and pottery

Archaeologists say pre-Roman Britons who lived in a rural location since the 4th Century BC may have enjoyed Mediterranean oil and wine.

Radiocarbon analysis of a dig site showed there was a settlement at Ipplepen, Devon, for about 1200 years longer than previously thought.

The discovery of Roman pottery suggests there was a community trading widely with the Roman world.

University of Exeter archaeologists are digging at the site this month.

Read the rest of this article...

Rome Metro Excavations Unearth 3rd Century 'Pompeii-Like Scene'

Digging for Rome's new subway has unearthed the charred ruins of an early 3rd-century building and the 1,800-year-old skeleton of a crouching dog that apparently perished in the same blaze that collapsed the structure.

A significant discovery was made under Rome’s metro system [Credit: Getty]

Archaeologists on Monday said they made the discovery on May 23 while examining a 10-meter (33-foot) -deep hole bored near the ancient Aurelian Walls as part of construction work for the Metro C line.

"A Pompeii-like scene" was how the Culture Ministry described the findings that evoked comparisons to the inhabitants trapped by the 79 A.D. Vesuvius volcanic explosion and preserved for centuries in the ruins of Pompeii.

Read the rest of this article...

UN ATELIER DE POTIER DU IER SIÈCLE DE NOTRE ÈRE À THONON-LES-BAINS


À Thonon-les-Bains, en Haute-Savoie, une équipe de l’Inrap étudie, sur une surface de 1 400 m²,  un atelier de potier de la seconde moitié du Ier siècle de notre ère qui s’insère dans un quartier artisanal situé au sud-est de l’agglomération antique de Thonon.

Read the rest of this article...

Monday, June 26, 2017

Cyprus reveals rare Roman horse race mosaic in Akaki


Scenes from a chariot race are depicted in a rare Roman mosaic found in rural Cyprus.
Dating from the 4th Century AD, it lies in Akaki, a village not far from Nicosia.
Only nine similar mosaics - showing a hippodrome race - have been found at ancient Roman sites.
The ornate 26-metre-long (85ft) mosaic was probably part of a wealthy man's villa. The excavation is led by archaeologist Fryni Hadjichristofi.

Read the rest of this article...

Ancient skulls shed light on migration in the Roman empire

A student uses a digitizer to record geometric morphometric sites on a skull.
Credit: NC State University

Skeletal evidence shows that, hundreds of years after the Roman Republic conquered most of the Mediterranean world, coastal communities in what is now south and central Italy still bore distinct physical differences to one another -- though the same could not be said of the area around Rome itself.

Using state-of-the-art forensic techniques, anthropologists from North Carolina State University and California State University, Sacramento examined skulls from three imperial Roman cemeteries: 27 skulls from Isola Sacra, on the coast of central Italy; 26 from Velia, on the coast of southern Italy; and 20 from Castel Malnome, on the outskirts of the city of Rome.

Read the rest of this article...

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Roman Bath House Found In Carlisle

Roman ruins described as a "once-in-a-lifetime find" have been discovered during work to rebuild a cricket pavilion in Carlisle.


The site at Edenside [Credit: Stuart Walker, The Cumberland News]

The remains of a Roman Bath House were uncovered as part of work to move Carlisle Cricket Club's pavilion, which was damaged during Storm Desmond.

The site is thought to be about 1,600 years old and has already unearthed weapons, pottery and coins. The find is close to the Hadrian's Wall World Heritage site.

Read the rest of this article...

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Oldest working Roman arch in Britain damaged by lorry driver who got stuck following his sat nav

Experts are assessing damage to the oldest Roman arch in the UK still used by traffic after a lorry driver got stuck following his sat nav CREDIT: RICHARD VAMPLEW/MEDIA LINCS

The oldest Roman arch in Britain which is still used by traffic has been damaged after a lorry driver who was following his sat nav became wedged underneath it. 

Police were called to the third century Newport Arch in Lincoln after a distribution lorry became lodged under the Grade I listed edifice at 1pm on Thursday. 

Fragments of stone from the monument could be clearly seen on the ground after it took over half an hour to free the HGV.

Read the rest of this article...