Sunday, October 31, 2010

Eighty headless skeletons unearthed between 2004 and 2005 from an ancient English cemetery in the city of York or the then Roman capital Eboracum holds proof that they all lost their heads far away from home.

Archeologists say the burial ground was used by the Romans throughout the second and third centuries A.D. Almost all the bodies were of males with more than half of them had been decapitated, and many were buried with their detached heads.

Eboracum was the Roman Empire's northernmost provincial capital during that period.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Archeology digs at Roman sites

A new project has been launched this week to explore East Oxford’s Roman and medieval archaeological sites.

Led by the University’s Department for Continuing Education, the project has been made possible by a £330,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Academics on the project will spend the next three years working with Oxford residents on digs, excavations, and surveys at sites believed to include Roman settlements, a medieval leper hospital and Civil War siege works.

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York Archaeological Trust find Roman vase at Hungate dig in York

A RARE glimpse into the world of Roman funeral rituals is on offer to visitors to DIG in York.

Archaeologists from York Archaeological Trust, who are excavating the Hungate site, have unearthed a small Roman cemetery which has so far revealed 20 burials and six cremations. In two graves, which contained the remains of Roman citizens, was an assembly of rich grave goods.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ancient Shipwreck Points to Site of Major Roman Battle

The remains of a sunken warship recently found in the Mediterranean Sea may confirm the site of a major ancient battle in which Rome trounced Carthage.

The year was 241 B.C. and the players were the ascending Roman republic and the declining Carthaginian Empire, which was centered on the northernmost tip of Africa. The two powers were fighting for dominance in the Mediterranean in a series of conflicts called the Punic Wars.

Archaeologists think the newly discovered remnants of the warship date from the final battle of the first Punic War, which allowed Rome to expand farther into the Western Mediterranean.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Roman coins valued at £320,250

A stash of more than 50,000 Roman coins found in a field by a treasure hunter has been valued at £320,250.

The exact value of the hoard, which was uncovered in a field near Frome last April, was determined following several hours of debate including the differing opinions of three experts.

The coins, stashed in a large jar, include five particularly rare silver pieces made for the emperor Carausius, who ruled from 286 to 293AD.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Colosseum to open gladiator tunnels to public

The dark stone tunnels in which gladiators prepared to do battle in the Colosseum are being opened to the public for the first time.

But archeologists are concerned about the impact that millions of tourists will have on the subterranean maze of tunnels and galleries as they seek to experience their very own Gladiator moment, re-enacting scenes from the Ridley Scott blockbuster starring Russell Crowe.

From next week, visitors will be able to venture into the bowels of the amphitheatre, the largest ever built by the Romans, exploring the cells and passageways in which wild animals such as lions, tigers, bears and hyenas were corralled.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hungate dig to feature on Time Team

The Hungate excavation is the biggest ever archaeological dig in York city centre.

Highlights of the dig include uncovering part of a 1,700 year old Roman cemetery and learning more about Viking York.

The dig began in 2007 and is scheduled to take five years, at a cost of £3.3 million.

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Pictures: Rare Roman Helmet Sells for $3.6 Million

A rare Roman helmet dating to the late first to second century A.D. fetched nearly $3.6 million dollars at a London auction on October 7.

The bronze helmet and face mask, (seen above in an undated photo), was discovered in May 2010 by a treasure hunter using a metal detector in a field in Cumbria, a county in northwestern England.

(Related pictures: "Giant, Bulging-Eyed Roman Emperor Statue Found.")

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Exeter Roman fort finds on view to the public

HISTORIC remains of a Roman fort unearthed during excavations in Exeter will be on display to the public for the first time this weekend.

As the Echo revealed in the summer, the city's early history could soon be rewritten as a result of the extraordinary find on the former St Loyes Foundation site in Topsham Road.

And visitors will have the opportunity to explore the area at a open day on Saturday.

With Roman remains dating back to approximately AD50, the site owners Helical Bar PLC and Urban Renaissance Villages said they are keen for the general public to visit and gain a better understanding of how the city's history was shaped by the conquering Roman army.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Landowners fear flood of treasure hunters after £2.3 million Roman helmet sale

Landowners fear flood of treasure hunters after £2.3 million Roman helmet sale

The find is the latest in a series of high profile artifacts unearthed by amateurs armed with metal detectors.

However the Country Land and Business Association is warning that property owners can become embroiled in costly legal disputes if they fail to agree contracts with anyone searching on their land.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Ancient Roman helmet sells for 10 times estimated amount

A detailed and well-preserved Roman parade helmet -- complete with fine facial features on its face mask, tight curly hair, and a griffin-topped cap -- sold at auction Thursday for 10 times its estimated amount.

The helmet sold at Christie's auction house in London for 2.28 million pounds ($3.6 million). It had been estimated at 200,000 to 300,000 pounds (about $316,000 to $475,000).

The buyer of the helmet was not immediately known.

The Tullie House Museum in Carlisle, near where the helmet was found in May by a person with a metal detector, had launched a public fundraising appeal to try to procure the helmet as the centerpiece for a new Roman gallery.

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Why the Roman spa town of Allianoi must be saved

We continue to believe that it is still not too late for Turkish political leaders to take necessary action to avoid such a cultural tragedy to take place. Allianoi need not be sacrificed

The most recent reports from Turkey about the Roman spa complex of Allianoi, sent by the local Allianoi Initiative led by the archaeologist professor Ahmet Yaras, says that now only the tops of excavated walls and columns poke through sand that workers employed by the Turkish State Waterworks are laying. This outstanding Roman archaeological site is being made ready to be submerged under water as work resumes on the controversial Yortanli dam. If the dam's construction goes ahead and the valley flooded to create a reservoir, ancient history will be lost by an irrigation scheme with an expected life-span of only 50 years.

Excavated by archaeologists only relatively recently, the ancient spa complex of Allianoi near Bergama in western Turkey has already revealed many historically rich monuments, including the thermal baths, bridges, streets and dwellings, and provided important scientific insights into Roman art, architecture, engineering, hydrology, medicine and pharmacology. Enlarged by the Emperor Hadrian, Allianoi dates mainly from the 2nd century AD, a time of emerging urban centers in Anatolia and of the construction of the famous Asklepion of nearby Pergamon.

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Berlin Researchers Crack the Ptolemy Code

A 2nd century map of Germania by the scholar Ptolemy has always stumped scholars, who were unable to relate the places depicted to known settlements. Now a team of researchers have cracked the code, revealing that half of Germany's cities are 1,000 years older than previously thought.

The founding of Rome has been pinpointed to the year 753. For the city of St. Petersburg, records even indicate the precise day the first foundation stone was laid.

Historians don't have access to this kind of precision when it comes to German cities like Hanover, Kiel or Bad Driburg. The early histories of nearly all the German cities east of the Rhine are obscure, and the places themselves are not mentioned in documents until the Middle Ages. So far, no one has been able to date the founding of these cities.

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Even the Romans recycled glass

The Romans weren't just dab hands at making beautiful vessels, ornaments and plates from glass; they were also good at recycling the stuff. A new study has found that towards the end of their rule in Britain, the Romans were recycling vast amounts of glass.
Roman glass

But the researchers behind the study think this probably had less to do with their concern for the environment, and more to do with the fact that glass became scarcer in the northern fringes of the Roman Empire during the last century of their rule.

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