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Artefacts discovered during the excavation of land off Tunbridge Lane in Bottisham, where Bloor Homes is building its De Havilland Orchard development
"Absolutely fascinating" archaeological remains from a large Roman settlement have been uncovered on the site of a new housing development in Bottisham.
The discovery was made during an excavation of the site off Tunbridge Lane before Bloor Homes began work on the 24-home De Havilland Orchard development.
The three-month excavation, carried out by Pre-Construct Archaeology under the direction of CgMs Consulting, was commissioned by the developer due to the archaeological significance of previous finds made in the area.
Artist's rendition of the Colchester Roman circus. Carole Raddato, Wikimedia Commons
Colchester, in the county of Essex, England, is perhaps best known as Britain’s oldest recorded town. The earliest record of Colchester’s existence is a reference by the Roman writer, Pliny the Elder in AD 77. In describing the island ofAnglesey, a large island off the northwest coast of present-day Wales, he wrote that ‘it is about 200 miles from Camulodunum, a town in Britain’. Camulodunum was the pre-Roman name for Colchester, the first known reference to any named settlement in this country.” It was a settlement that featured, among other things, a Roman circus.
The site of the Roman circus was identified in 2004 by the Colchester Archeological Trust, and it represents the only known Roman circus in Britain. The once monumental structure, at 400m long and 80m wide, is thought to have seated up to 8,000 spectators, and would have been used as a venue for various spectator sports, including chariot-racing. The circus is sited on the former army garrison site about 500 metres south of the southern Roman wall of Colchester. Rather poetically, part of the circus resides under the former garrison stables.
The circus starting gates were found first in the garden of the Sergeants’ Mess in Le Cateau Road. In 2005 the TV programme ‘Time Team’ subsequently located the starting gates, some of the wall, and the spina, the centre wall in the circus which acted as a barrier for chariot racing.
MCMASTER UNIVERSITY—HAMILTON, Dec. 5, 2016 - An analysis of 2,000-year-old human remains from several regions across the Italian peninsula has confirmed the presence of malaria during the Roman Empire, addressing a longstanding debate about its pervasiveness in this ancient civilization.
The answer is in mitochondrial genomic evidence of malaria, coaxed from the teeth of bodies buried in three Italian cemeteries, dating back to the Imperial period of the 1st to 3rd centuries Common Era.
The genomic data is important, say researchers, because it serves as a key reference point for when and where the parasite existed in humans, and provides more information about the evolution of human disease.
"Malaria was likely a significant historical pathogen that caused widespread death in ancient Rome," says evolutionary geneticist Hendrik Poinar, director of McMaster's Ancient DNA Centre where the work was conducted.