Friday, September 30, 2011

Axes, bones, jewellery and 60 pairs of shoes - secrets of Roman fort revealed

ARCHAEOLOGISTS digging at the site of a former jeans factory have uncovered the remains of at least two Roman forts - and artefacts including 60 pairs of shoes.
The hoard of leather footwear is believed to be the largest of its kind yet found in Scotland.

Other discoveries include pottery, ovens, coins, bones, jewellery, an axe and a spearhead dating back to the first and second centuries AD, when the forts were in use.
Read the rest of this article...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pair investigated on suspicion of attempting to loot buried treasure from Northamptonshire Roman town

TWO people are being investigated by police on suspicion of attempting to loot buried treasure from the site of a historic Roman walled town in Northamptonshire.

Police confirmed the two suspects remained on bail on suspicion of illegally using a metal detector, the theft of treasure, damage to the land and other offences at a site of “tremendous historical and archeological importance”. They are believed to have attempted to take Roman coins and other historical artefacts.

Police said ‘several’ alleged crimes were being investigated at Chester House Farm, in Irchester, which is regarded by historians as one of the most important sites of its type in the county. Police are now liaising with experts from English Heritage and a national police expert about pursuing a case, which if prosecuted, could be one of the biggest of its kind in the country.

Read the rest of this article...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ancient luxury residence of rich family found in İzmir

A luxury residence dating back about 2,000 years to the Roman era has been discovered in the Aegean province of İzmir. Located in the ancient city of Smyrna, the 400-square-meter residence has many rooms, including a bathroom and kitchen.

“The presence of numerous rooms, a bathroom and kitchen show us that a rich family must have lived here together with slaves. We see many details of their lifestyle from the remains found during excavations,” said archaeologist Akın Ersoy, who leads the excavation works.

Read the rest of this article...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pompeii shows its true colours

'Pompeiian red' was created when gases from Vesuvius reacted with yellow paint, research reveals

When word spread to Britain of the sensational discovery of the Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum in the 18th century, "Pompeiian red" became the favoured colour for smart dining-rooms – as it remains today.

But, it seems, it may be time to get out the paint chart. According to new research presented to Sapienza University in Rome last week, large swaths of the vivid "Pompeiian red" frescoes in the town actually began life as yellow – and were turned red by the gases emitted from Vesuvius as it erupted in AD 79.

Read the rest of this article...

Huge ancient Roman shipyard unearthed in Italy

A large Roman shipyard has been uncovered an ancient port in Rome called Portus, researchers reported. They found the remains of a massive building, dating to the second century, where ancient ships were likely built close to the distinctive hexagonal basin, or "harbor," at the center of the port complex. 

"Few Roman Imperial shipyards have been discovered and, if our identification is correct, this would be the largest of its kind in Italy or the Mediterranean," dig director Simon Keay, of the University of Southampton, said in a statement. [ See image of ancient shipyard ]

Portus was a crucial trade gateway linking Rome to the Mediterranean during the Imperial period (27 B.C. to A.D. 565). The area was initially built during the time of Emperor Trajan (A.D. 98 to 117). Excavation at the site has revealed that it had many uses, including to store grain and as a defensive measure.

Read the rest of this article...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Roman baths in Southwark marshlands stun boffins

A rare find of ancient ruins has been made in south London, where Romans used to fear to tread.

Network Rail uncovered the remains of a bath house at London Bridge, last week.

It is shaping up as one of the biggest Roman finds ever made south of the Thames.

Read the rest of this article...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Church concealed bath house remains

NOW here's an old view of Exeter's Cathedral Green which nobody will ever see again except in picture form.

It was taken back in 1959 when Exeter's South Street was undergoing a facelift

Most readers will, I am sure, recognise the cathedral but what on earth was that church with a steeple doing right outside the West Front?

Answer: It was the church of St Mary Major, which became redundant and was demolished in 1970 to open up the West Front approach to the cathedral as we know it today.

Read the rest of this article...

Remains of Roman bath house found on Borough High Street

The remains of a Roman bath house have been found by Network Rail engineers working on the site at the corner of Borough High Street and London Bridge Street which is being redeveloped as part of the Thameslink Programme.

The site, formerly occupied by a fish and chip shop and a nightclub, was cleared to make room for the new railway bridge across Borough High Street which was installed earlier this year. A new office building is planned for the corner site.

Network Rail has commissioned a team of specialist archaeologists from Oxford Archaeology and Pre-Construct Archaeology to excavate the site.

Read the rest of this article...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

1,700-year-old map of Roman roads used for online journey planner

A Dutch historian has used a unique 1,700 year old map of Roman roads to create an online journey planner giving the destinations, distances and timings of routes used by ancient travellers in the days of empire.

Routes are based on the Tabula Peutingeriana, a one of a kind chart, which shows an imperial Roman road network, or curses public's, that stretches from Britain to the river Ganges that flows through India and Bangladesh.

The huge map, last updated in the third or fourth century, shows 2,760 towns with lists of distances and destinations on the Roman roads connecting them, all set out on a scroll of parchment almost 23 feet long.

Read the rest of this article...

Ruins of Roman gladiator school found in Austria

Archaeologists in Austria say they have discovered a large, well preserved school for Roman gladiators.

The remains of the school, at a site east of the modern capital, Vienna, were found using radar imagery.

The school was part of a Roman city which was an important military and trade outpost 17 centuries ago.

Read the rest of this article...

Massive gladiator school is found under Austrian town

A ROMAN gladiator school where men were trained to fight to the death in the arena has been found by archaeologists on the outskirts of the Austrian capital, Vienna - the first to be discovered outside Italy.

Ground-penetrating radar was used to identify the site of the school at a Roman settlement called Carnuntum, a town of 50,000 people 30 miles east of Vienna that flourished about 1,700 years ago. It was a major military and trade outpost linking the far-flung Roman empire's Asian boundaries to its central and northern European lands.

The academy was one of 100 created to train the fighters who were pitted against each other - and against wild animals - for the entertainment of emperors, senators and commoners alike.

Read the rest of this article...

Ruins reveal how Roman gladiators won their spurs

Archaeologists using sophisticated radar equipment say they have located a remarkably well-preserved underground Roman gladiator school that will give them "sensational" new insights into the lives of the fighters 1,700 years ago.

The site, 24 miles east of Vienna, contains the remains of a heated training hall for combatants. It was discovered beneath the former Roman settlement of Carnuntum, which is already home to one the finest amphitheatres ever found. Archaeologists say it is the first gladiator school ever found outside Italy.

Frank Humer, an archaeologist with Vienna's Ludwig-Boltzmann Institute, which found the school while conducting a detailed radar scan of the site, said: "The wooden post that gladiators traditionally used as their mock opponent during training is still visible in the middle of the school's arena."

Read the rest of this article...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Rome monuments attacked by vandals

Three historic monuments have been attacked by vandals in the Italian capital, Rome.

In the first attack, a man was caught on security cameras chipping two pieces off a marble statue on a fountain in the Piazza Navona.

Hours later tourists watched as a man threw a rock at the famous Trevi Fountain in the centre of the city.

Police then said they caught an American student scaling a wall of the Colosseum to chip off pieces of marble.

Read the rest of this article...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Roman Remains Found at Charles Street, Dorchester

Wessex Archaeology has just completed a four week excavation within the southern part of the Charles Street Development in Dorchester. Neil Holbrook, of Cotswold Archaeology has been acting as archaeological consultant on behalf of the developers, Simons Developments and WDDC. A watching brief is currently being maintained on groundwork being undertaken by Cowlin Construction and their subcontractors associated with the construction of West Dorset District Council’s new offices, library and adult learning centre.

As the site occupies an area near to the southern edge of the Roman town of Durnovaria it was predicted evidence of Roman town life would be uncovered during the works. The prediction proved correct; immediately below the modern overburden, the remains of Roman houses were uncovered.

These buildings were built around 100AD and were orientated according to the town’s street plan, which it has been possible to map using evidence from other excavations in Dorchester.

Read the rest of this article...

Archaeologists uncover amphitheatre used to train gladiators near Vienna

The ruins are a 'sensational discovery' with a structure to rival the Colosseum in Rome, archaeologists say

Archaeologists say they have located and excavated the ruins of a huge amphitheatre used to train gladiators east of Vienna, describing it as a "sensational discovery".

They claim that the ruins found through ground radar measurements rival the Colosseum and the Ludus Magnus in Rome in their structure. The Ludus Magnus is the largest of the gladiatorial arenas in the Italian capital, while the Colosseum is the largest amphitheatre ever built in the Roman empire.

Read the rest of this article...