Monday, June 27, 2016


We are looking for people working, studying or volunteering in the archaeological world to participate with us in a “Day of Archaeology” in July 2016. The resulting Day of Archaeology website will demonstrate the wide variety of work our profession undertakes day-to-day across the globe, and help to raise public awareness of the relevance and importance of archaeology to the modern world. We want anyone with a personal, professional or voluntary interest in archaeology to get involved, and help show the world why archaeology is vital to protect the past and inform our futures.

Explore posts from previous years here...

Boundaries of Roman Empire redrawn after Devon archaeological dig

The Ipplepen Archaeological Project began its fieldwork for this year two weeks ago

The boundaries of the Roman Empire have been expanded following the discovery of Roman coins in a rural village.
Amateur metal detectorists Jim Wills and Dennis Hewings first unearthed the coins in Ipplepen, Devon, in 2009.
Now archaeologists have uncovered a Romano-British settlement which had trade links to the rest of the Empire.
Dr Sam Moorhead, from the British Museum, said the site raised "a whole series of new questions" about Roman Devon.

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Skeletons, Coins Found In Dig Of Ancient Pompeii Shop

Italian and French archaeologists have discovered four skeletons and gold coins in the ruins of an ancient shop on the outskirts of Pompeii, officials said Friday.

An Italian and French archaeologist team, digging in the outskirts of Porta Ercolano, Pompeii, have discovered four skeletons and gold coins in the ruins of an ancient shop. Pompeii archaeological site officials said the skeletons are those of young people, including an adolescent girl, who perished in the back of the shop when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79. [Credit: Pompeii Archaeological Site Press Office via AP]
The skeletons are those of young people, including an adolescent girl, who perished in the back of the shop near the ancient Roman town when Mount Vesuvius erupted and covered it in ash in 79, said a statement from the area office of the famous archaeological site near Naples.

Three gold coins and a necklace's pendant were scattered among the bones. In the workshop was an oven which archaeologists think might have been used to make bronze objects.

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Roman Burials Discovered In East England

A previously undiscovered Roman cemetery has been found by archaeologists working on a Lincoln city centre site. The skeletal remains of two babies and an adult, plus ashes in an urn, were uncovered by the team preparing the ground for the University of Lincoln's new Sarah Swift building. And archaeologists working on the land between High Street and Brayford Wharf East are excited because the major finds further emphasise the importance of Lindum as a Roman centre.

No indications of a Roman cemetery had been found in the Lincoln area until 
an excavation at the city's university [Credit: © Allen Archaeology Ltd]
City archaeologist Alastair MacIntosh said: "Previous archaeological work in the area has revealed evidence of Roman buildings dating from the 1st century onwards. And until now it was thought that the area was only used for housing, so this is an exciting discovery."
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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Whistling Sling Bullets Were Roman Troops' Secret 'Terror Weapon'

Some of the Roman sling bullets found at the Burnswark Hill battle site in Scotland. The two smallest bullets, shown at the bottom of this image, are drilled with a hole that makes them whistle in flight.
Credit: John Reid/Trimontium Trust

Some 1,800 years ago, Roman troops used "whistling" sling bullets as a "terror weapon" against their barbarian foes, according to archaeologists who found the cast lead bullets at a site in Scotland.
Weighing about 1 ounce (30 grams), each of the bullets had been drilled with a 0.2-inch (5 millimeters) hole that the researchers think was designed to give the soaring bullets a sharp buzzing or whistling noise in flight.
The bullets were found recently at Burnswark Hill in southwestern Scotland, where a massive Roman attack against native defenders in a hilltop fort took place in the second century A.D. [See Photos of Roman Battle Site and Sling Bullets]
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Monday, June 20, 2016

Gaulcross Hoard Sheds Light On Northern Scotland During Roman Era

Major breakthroughs in our understanding of the Picts, the “lost” ancient people of Northern Scotland, and their possible interaction with the last Romans in Britain have followed the discovery of a hoard of Roman silver in Aberdeenshire.
The entire silver hoard (except for the three pieces discovered in 1838) on display 
[Credit: National Museums Scotland]

First uncovered in 1838 and again in 2014 and now known as the Gaulcross Hoard, the items discovered over the past 18 months now extend to more than 100 silver coins and objects.

What is exciting archaeologists and historians is that although the hoard is Pictish in origin, the metal itself is Roman and includes Hacksilber, fragments of cut and bent silver items that were often used as currency by the Romans.

The suggestion by the discoverers is that the Gaulcross Hoard was originally in high-status Roman hands and that the Picts acquired them either through looting, trade or military means.

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Archaeology in the Round?

A new website providing links to archaeological photo spheres is now online.

The purpose of the site is to make these photo spheres easily available and also to encourage people to make archaeological photo spheres and publish them on the site.

You can find the site at:

The day I stumbled on a Roman villa in my back garden

Luke Irwin at his home, next to the gate under which a Roman mosaic was found 

When Luke Irwin discovered evidence of a palatial second century Roman villa in his quiet corner of Wiltshire, he wasn’t prepared for the world’s reaction. The chance nature of the find in his back garden, which was exposed last February when a stretch of vividly coloured mosaic was uncovered during wiring work, certainly made for an attention-grabbing story.

But what was less predictable was the speed at which it spread around the world after he went public with the news in April this year. Within a couple of days, the internet was agog with debate (“What are ancient Roman luxury villas going for nowadays?”) and Irwin’s video about the discovery and excavation of the site – previously a sheep field – had been watched by thousands of people. Things became truly surreal when Fox News introduced the villa to America as “the opulent home of a Roman-era 'Kardashian’ family”.

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