Thursday, February 4, 2016

Rome's lonely Pyramid of Cestius gets a new lease of life


Eternal City’s only surviving pyramid dating from conquest of Egypt looks to attract more visitors after extensive clean-up funded by Japanese patron

The Pyramid of Cestius in Rome is the city’s only such monument. Photograph: Domenico Stinellis/AP

Rome’s only surviving pyramid from ancient times is being put in the spotlight after a Japanese clothing magnate helped pay for an ambitious cleanup.

Archaeologists are eager to show off the monument, constructed around 2,000 years ago as the burial tomb for a Roman praetor, or magistrate, named Caius Cestius.

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Roman fresco hidden beneath the streets of London uncovered by archaeologists


MOLA archaeological conservator, Luisa Duarte, with one of sixteen sections of a beautifully decorated collapsed Roman wall © MOLA

An ornate fresco that once adorned the residence of a wealthy Roman citizen has been discovered by archaeologists at 21 Lime Street, in London. Archaeologists from MOLA uncovered the fresco six metres below street level, whilst undertaking fieldwork for a new office development. Dating to the late 1st century AD, and the first decades of London, it is one of the earliest surviving frescos from Roman Britain.

Thanks to a huge Roman construction project, the fate of this rare wall painting was literally sealed in the ground. In AD 100, construction of the 2nd Forum Basilica, the main civic centre for the city and the largest Roman building ever built north of the Alps, began. In advance of construction of the Forum the area was flattened. The painted wall was deliberately toppled and the Forum immediately built over it, incredibly preserving the fresco for nearly 2000 years.

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Kilnwood, Vicarage Hill


This report has been reproduced by TimeTeign to help enhance our understanding of the early occupation and history of Kingsteignton during the early/late Bronze Age and into the Roman occupation around this hill-site. The report itself was made in relation to the construction of forty (40) dwellings on the Kilnwood estate, on Vicarage Hill, Kingsteignton, Devon, has been approved and passed by Steve Reed, at Devon County Council. 

The site is situated to the southeast of the historic core of Kingsteignton within an area that was covered by the former mediaeval field systems. Remnants of these survived as parts of the existing field system and as previously-recorded lynchets to east and southeast of the site.
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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The discovery of an ornate Roman fresco revealed


An ornate fresco that once adorned the residence of a wealthy Roman citizen has been discovered by a team of our archaeologists at 21 Lime Street, in London. We uncovered the fresco six metres below street level, whilst undertaking archaeological fieldwork for a new office development. Dating to the late 1st century AD, and the first decades of London, it is one of the earliest surviving frescos from Roman Britain.

Roman building boom

Thanks to a huge Roman construction project, the fate of this rare wall painting was literally sealed in the ground. In AD 100, construction of the 2nd Forum Basilica, the main civic centre for the city and the largest Roman building ever built north of the Alps, began. In advance of construction of the Forum the area was flattened. The painted wall was deliberately toppled and the Forum immediately built over it, incredibly preserving the fresco for nearly 2000 years.


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Stash of Roman coins found at UK building site


A groundwork contractor stumbled across 1,700-year-old Roman coins when he was working in Yeovil. 


Stash of Roman coins found at UK building site Selection of Roman coins discovered at the Yeovil building site [Credit: Central Somerset Gazette] 

Mark Copsey, who had been working on a building site for under a week, went to reverse the bulldozer he was driving and saw something strange in the soil, an inquest heard. 

"I was stripping sub soil and I looked behind and noticed a green cloth," he said. 

Mr Copsey got out of the bulldozer to investigate and discovered a broken pot and some coins on March 20, 2013.

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Decapitated Gladiators Reveal Roman Empire's Genetic Influence


These decapitated remains found in York belonged to a male who may have been a Retiarii gladiator, who fought with a net and spear or trident.

DNA from seven decapitated skeletons thought to be gladiators is helping researchers unravel the gruesome origins of the ancient remains. The new findings suggest that the Roman Empire's genetic impact on Britain may not have been as large as researchers had thought.
The headless skeletons were excavated between 2004 and 2005 from a Roman burial site in Driffield Terrace in York, England, the archaeologists said. Around the time the bodies were buried, between the second and fourth centuries A.D., the area that's now York was the Roman Empire's capital of northern Britain, called Eboracum. The cemetery where the bodies were discovered was located in a prominent area, near a main road that led out of the city, according to the researchers.
Most of the skeletons found at this site were of males younger than 45 who were taller than average and showed evidence of trauma, such as cuts to their arms and fingers, the archaeologists said. Famously, the majority of them had been decapitated. These standout traits led some experts to suggest that this was a burial site for gladiators. However, it is also possible that these men were in the military, which, in Roman times, had a minimum height requirement, the researchers said. [See Photos of the Decapitated Gladiator Skeletons]
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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Digger driver wins share of 3,339 Roman coins he found levelling a hockey pitch


Mark Copsey, 44, is entitled to a third of their worth after they were declared treasure under the Treasure Act

Roman coins found by bulldozer driver Mark Copsey while working on a Yeovil Recreation Ground in Somerset Photo: British Museum/SWNS

A JCB driver who dug up 3,000 rare Roman coins which he put in a carrier bag will be able to keep the cash despite colleagues claiming it was a team find.
Mark Copsey, 44, was levelling a recreation ground for a hockey pitch when he spotted something in the soil.
He found a collection of 3,339 silver coins carrying depictions of an elephant and a hippopotamus buried around 270AD.
Mr Copsey immediately scooped them up and put them in a plastic carrier bag - and an inquest has ruled he will now be entitled to a third of their value.
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Excavation Reveals Significant Statuettes at Archaeological Site of Aptera


A very important find was unearthed at the archaeological site of Aptera, Chania on Crete, Greece.
Two small sized sculptures (approx 0.54cm height), one of Artemis made of copper and a second of her brother Apollo made of marble. The statue of Artemis, guardian goddess of Aptera, is in excellent condition and was standing on a square copper base. She is wearing a short chiton, or tunic, and is ready to shoot her arrow. The preservation of the white material used for the iris of her eyes is spectacular.
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Roman-Byzantine grave unearthed on Istanbul’s İstiklal Avenue


Archaeologists have uncovered a Roman-Byzantine grave underneath Istanbul’s famous İstiklal Avenue, providing evidence of human activity in one of the city’s most important areas at a date earlier than previously thought.

The grave was unearthed during the restoration of the historic Casa Garibaldi building on the avenue when a worker discovered a 1,600- to 1800-year-old skull eight meters under the surface. 

Archaeologists from the Istanbul Archeology Museum subsequently arrived and conducted excavations in the area. 


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Discovering a Roman Imperial Winery at Vagnari (Italy)


Vagnari is situated in the Basentello river valley, just east of the Apennines in Puglia (ancient Apulia), and about 12 km west of the Iron Age town of Botromagno (next to modern Gravina).

After the Roman conquest of south-east Italy in the early third century B.C., Rome had direct links to the region by one of its main roads, the Via Appia. Pre-Roman settlements, such as Botromagno, went into decline from this time, and its land may have been confiscated by the Romans. After the conquest, wealthy Romans of the senatorial class appropriated tracts of Apulian land, and emperors later followed suit, acquiring properties and developing imperial business assets here.

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Statues depicting Artemis and Apollo found in Crete


A very important find was unearthed at the archaeological site of Aptera, Chania on the Greek island of Crete. 


Bronze statue depicting Artemis [Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture] 

Two small sized sculptures (approx 0.54cm height), one of Artemis made of copper and a second of her brother Apollo made of marble. 

The statue of Artemis, guardian goddess of Aptera, is in excellent condition and was standing on a square copper base. 

She is wearing a short chiton, or tunic, and is ready to shoot her arrow. Extremely spectacular is the preservation of the white material used for the iris of her eyes.

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Un sanctuaire gallo-romain à Marne-la-Vallée


En 2013, un vaste diagnostic archéologique (110 ha) a été mené sur l'emprise du projet d’un centre de villégiature conçu par Euro Disney et le groupe Pierres et Vacances-Center Parcs. Dans l'angle nord-ouest du diagnostic, Alain Berga et son équipe ont mis au jour de longs fossés qui ont livré un important mobilier archéologique gallo-romain auquel étaient mêlés des ossements humains brûlés. Ces indices laissaient présager la présence d'une nécropole. C'est donc dans ce secteur, sur une superficie d'un hectare, qu'une fouille a été menée. 

Trois enclos et un temple
Le terrain à fouiller était recouvert par un épais remblai composé de boues de station d'épuration et de terres rapportées pouvant atteindre un mètre d'épaisseur. Situé en contrebas du chantier, il recevait toutes les eaux d'écoulement des alentours.


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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Roman artefacts unearthed by roadworks in UK


Archaeologists at a major project to upgrade the A1 to a motorway in North Yorkshire have uncovered several significant discoveries. The discoveries include a rare Roman brooch from Eastern Europe and a miniature sword. 


Pottery was found alongside human remains near Catterick  [Credit: Highways England] 

An archaeological team of around 60 people have been working along the A1 between Leeming Bar and Barton for 2 years as part of a Highways England scheme to install an extra lane in each direction and improve the route to motorway standards. 

During that time, archaeologists have uncovered more than 177,000 artefacts and sieved more than 50 tonnes of sediment samples. They have found numerous artefacts dating between the Middle Stone age, Iron Age and Roman period. 

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Origins of York's decapitated Romans traced by genome technology


Scientists reveal that headless men believed to be gladiators have descendants in Wales – and one hailed from Middle East


 The Roman skeletons were found at Driffield Terrace in York with their skulls placed between their legs, at their feet or on their chests. 
Photograph: York Archaeological Trust

The origins of a group of men whose decapitated corpses were discovered in aRoman cemetery in York have been traced through genome technology. It has been revealed that one man came from as far away as modern Syria or Palestine, and that the descendants of others now live in Wales.
The 1,800-year-old skeletons of more than 80 individuals, all aged under 45 when they died, have been puzzling archaeologists since they were excavated more than a decade ago by the York Archaeological Trust. The men – many of whom were taller than average and well built – may have been gladiators, soldiers or criminals whose violent deaths were arena entertainment.
The graveyard was discovered beneath gardens at Driffield Terrace, on land that would have been on the edge of the Roman city. The site is believed to be aspecial burial place for people who fought as gladiators or died in the arena.
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Saturday, January 16, 2016

ARCHAEOLOGISTS FIND NORTH GATE OF ANCIENT AGATHOPOLIS IN BULGARIA’S AHTOPOL, ‘BRAND NEW’ GOLD COIN OF BYZANTINE EMPEROR JUSTINE I

An aerial photo of the newly discovered northern gate of the Late Antiquity fortress of Agathopolis in Bulgaria’s Ahtopol on the Black Sea with its two towers.
Photo: Tsarevo Municipality Facebook Page

Bulgarian archaeologists have unearthed the northern gate of the Late Antiquity and medieval fortress of Agathopolis, today’s Bulgarian Black Sea town of Ahtopol, a major Byzantine and Bulgarian fortress during theMiddle Ages, which was also an Ancient Greek, Thracian, and Roman city in the Antiquity period.
For two months at the end of 2015, archaeologists from Bulgaria’s National Institute and Museum of Archaeology inSofia led by Assist. Prof. Dr. Andrey Aladzhov excavated the ruins of ancient Agathopolis, the press service of Tsarevo Municipality has announced.
The archaeologists’ efforts were supported by volunteers from Bulgaria, Canada, and the Netherlands. The digs were founded by both Bulgaria’s Ministry of Culture and Tsarevo Municipality.
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Friday, January 15, 2016

Roman artefacts found at Northampton abbey site


Archaeologists working on the restoration of Delapre Abbey in Northamptonshire have discovered a series of roman artefacts. 



Pottery and a small glass phial found on the site [Credit: ITV] 

It was previously thought that the abbey dated back to medieval times but experts now say there could have been activity at the site centuries earlier. The on-site archaeologist Iain Sode discovered a concentration of high-quality pottery, a glass vessel, and a copper alloy pin, all thought to be from the late Roman period.

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