Friday, May 29, 2015

Mystery Deepens Over Rare Roman Tombstone


Mystery has deepened over a Roman tombstone unearthed earlier this year in western England, as new research revealed it had no link with the skeleton laying beneath it.
The inscribed stone was discovered during the construction work of a parking lot in Cirencester.
Made from Cotswold limestone, it was found laying on its front in a grave — directly above an adult skeleton.
When it was turned over, the honey colored stone revealed fine decorations and five lines of Latin inscription which read: “D.M. BODICACIA CONIUNX VIXIT ANNO S XXVII,” possibly meaning: “To the shades of the underworld, Bodicacia, spouse, lived 27 years.”
Read the rest of this article...

New finds at Plassi, Marathon in Attica


This year’s excavations of the Prehistoric-Classical site of Plassi, Marathon in Attica, conducted by the University of Athens, have been completed last week. The survey of the site began last year. 


Buildings and pottery kiln of the Prehistoric era 
[Credit: National and  Kapodistrian University of Athens] 

The Plassi excavation has once again brought to light important finds showing that the site remained the most important settlement of the Marathon plain from the end of the Neolithic period (ca 3500 BC) until the Late Roman years (300 AD).

During this year’s excavation season the trial trenches of 1969 (made by archaeologists Sp. Marinatos and E. Mastrokosta) were revealed and cleaned and new ones were opened, in order to answer questions which had remained unanswered.

Read the rest of this article...

Brumath-Brocomagus, Civitas Capital of the Triboci



Brumath-Brocomagus, Civitas Capital of the Triboci

Exhibition at Musée Archéologique, Strasburg

until 31 December 2015

Occasioned by urban redevelopment projects involving housing schemes and business parks, the numerous successive archaeological excavations of recent decades in the town of Brumath and its surrounding area have helped to renew and considerably widen our knowledge of the antique city. Today, the wealth of discoveries prompts us to make an initial assessment of the settlement's development and the history of the territory of Brumath from Prehistory to the early Middle Ages. Central to the exhibition will be a review of the expansion of the Gallo-Roman city: urban topography, public and private buildings, aspects of daily life, production and trade, beliefs and religion, graveyards and funeral rites. The visitor will thus be offered an overall vision of the different aspects of Romanization and urban life in Alsace under Roman rule. 

Read the rest of this article...

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Archaeologists put Roman gateway on wishlist after finding ancient water tank at Vindolanda fort


Fine carving for Roman goddess of hunting and first copper lock barrel in 34 years among finds in Roman north-east

Archaeologists are hoping to find a gate and its stone inscription after discovering tank features, buildings, a roadway, animal bones, pens, hairpins and barrels during the first two excavation sessions of the year at Vindolanda, the Roman fort near Hadrian’s Wall.

Facing snow and torrential rain during their early investigations – conditions they admit were “horrendous” – the team uncovered a free-standing water tank and a depiction of a hare and hound carved for Diana, the goddess of hunting.

Read the rest of this article...

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Roman mosaics damaged during botched restoration, Turkish officials say


At least 10 priceless mosaics held in the Hatay Archaeology Museum in Turkeyhave been badly damaged during restoration, officials and craftsmen have said.
The Roman mosaics, some of which date back to the second century, include world-famous panels depicting the sacrifice of Isaac and another of Narcissus. The museum in Turkey’s southern province of Hatay houses one of the world’s largest collections of mosaics.
Authorities have launched an investigation following reports that restoration has distorted the mosaics’ features and left them looking markedly different from the valuable originals.
Read the rest of this article...

Turkey: Investigation over 'ruined' Roman mosaics


Turkey's culture ministry is investigating reports that a number of valuable Roman mosaics were badly damaged during botched restoration work at an archaeological museum, according to Turkish media.
Authorities are looking into the claims of a local craftsman who raised concerns over the condition of at least 10 mosaics at the Hatay Archaeology Museum, the Hurriyet Daily News website reports. Mehmet Daskapan first spoke out in an interview with a local paper in February, but the news was only picked up by mainstream Turkish media on Monday. "Valuable pieces from the Roman period have been ruined," Mr Daskapan told the Antakya Gazetesi website at the time. "They have become caricatures of their former selves. Some are in an especially poor condition and have lost their originality and value."
Before and after photos of the mosaics presented by Mr Daskapan show the "restored" versions looking significantly different to the originals. Some stones appear to have been replaced with different colours and shapes, changing the facial expressions of the characters depicted. A report on the Radikal website has suggested the images could have been Photoshopped, but the site later noted that the region's governor had nonetheless closed off the section housing the mosaics in question.

Read the rest of this article...

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

BULGARIAN ARCHAEOLOGIST FINDS ANCIENT ROMAN JACUZZI HEATER AT ‘LUXURY’ ROAD STATION NEAR SOSTRA FORTRESS

Bulgarian archaeologist Ivan Hristov shows the heater of the Ancient Roman Jacuzzi in the “luxury” Roman road station at the Sostra Fortress located near Bulgaria’s Troyan. 
Photo: InfoTroyan.eu

Bulgarian archaeologist Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ivan Hristov has discovered a heater for an Ancient Roman Jacuzzi during the ongoing excavations of the Roman road station at the Sostra Fortress near the central town of Troyan.

The Roman road station, which was first found by Hristov’s team in the spring of 2014 and is presently being excavated further, has itself been described as a “luxury” Roman motel because of the amenities that it offered for the Roman travelers taking the Via Trajana, the road used by Roman Emperor Trajan (r. 98-117 AD).

The newly found heater for a Roman Jacuzzi consists of a furnace heating up air which is then directed to a shallow pool similar to a modern-day Jacuzzi, reports local news site InfoTroyan.eu.

Read the rest of this article...

Niedergermanischer Limes soll UNESCO-Welterbe werden


Nordrhein-Westfalen, Rheinland-Pfalz und die Niederlande wollen den Niedergermanischen Limes als Welterbe bei der UNESCO anmelden. Das sieht eine Vereinbarung der beiden Bundesländer mit den Niederlanden vor, die im LVR-LandesMuseum Bonn unterzeichnet wurde.

Der Niedergermanische Limes verlief auf 385 Kilometern Länge entlang des Rheins von Remagen in Rheinland-Pfalz bis Katwijk an Zee als Grenzeinrichtung gegenüber dem feindlichen freien Germanien. Der komplette Verlauf entlang eines Flusses und seine besonders lange Existenz unterscheiden ihn von den anderen Limesabschnitten.

Read the rest of this article...

Monday, April 27, 2015

Caesar did not suffer from epilepsy: scientists


    More than 2,000 years since Caesar died - assassinated by his own senators - researchers have claimed the military leader was struck by a debilitating disease in later life.
    Some academics have previously argued that Caesar suffered from epilepsy, a brain condition which causes seizures.
    But writing in the journal Neurological Sciences, researchers Francesco M. Galassi and Hutan Ashrafian have argued that the general suffered from cerebrovascular disease.
    Read the rest of this article...

    Sunday, April 26, 2015

    Cremated human bones in pot found in Crossrail dig suggest gruesome ritual

     A Roman shackle – one of the mass of Roman and medieval objects found during excavations at the Crossrail site near Liverpool Street station. Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian

    Almost 2,000 years ago somebody neatly packed cremated human bones into an old cooking pot, put the lid on, and set it by the banks of a smelly little urban river, the Walbrook in London. The discovery has deepened the mystery of scores of Roman skulls found nearby, polished till they gleam by tumbling among the pebbles of the riverbed.
    It had been suggested that the skulls ended up in the river – which vanished into culverts centuries ago – by accident, eroded out of a Roman cemetery and washed downstream until they came to rest at bends in the bank. The new finds suggest a grimmer explanation.
    Jay Carver, Crossrail’s lead archaeologist on the site yards from the bustling commuters at Liverpool Street station, said the thrifty reuse of the old pot, and its deliberate placing by the river, will force archaeologists to look again at the skulls found in this excavation and generations of previous digs around the river.
    Read the rest of this article...

    Monday, April 20, 2015

    Rare Roman owl clasp found on Danish island


    A 2,000-year-old bronze and enamel clasp has been unearthed south of the town of Nexø on the island of Bornholm. Shaped like an owl, the bronze and enamel button has large orange eyes and colourful wings. 


    A rare owl clasp has been found on Bornholm  [Credit: Bornholm's Museum] 

    “There are very few of these types of buttons,” said archaeologist Christina Seehusen from Bornholms Museum. “It is likely that someone travelling to the island carried it there.” 

    The owl was produced in regions along the Roman frontier that ran along the Danube and the Rhine at the time, so it may originate from ancient Cologne or another nearby town. The clasp was usually worn by men to hold their cloaks closed, so it is possible that a man from the island was a Germanic mercenary in the Roman army and brought the owl back to Bornholm with him. 

    Read the rest of this article...