Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Gladiator arena from Roman era unearthed in Turkey

 An aerial view shows the Roman-era arena poking out of a hilly area in Mastaura, Turkey. (Image credit: Courtesy of Assoc. Prof. Mehmet Umut Tuncer/Aydın Provincial Director of Culture and Tourism)

Archaeologists in Turkey have discovered the remains of a "magnificent" Roman-era arena, where up to 20,000 spectators likely cheered and jeered as they watched gladiator matches and wild animal fights, the excavators said. 

The 1,800-year-old arena was discovered on the rolling hills of the ancient city of Mastaura, in Turkey's western Aydın Province. Its large central area, where "bloody shows" once took place, has since filled with earth and vegetation over the centuries.

"Most of the amphitheater is under the ground," and the part that is visible is largely covered by "shrubs and wild trees," Mehmet Umut Tuncer, the Aydın Culture and Tourism provincial director and project survey leader Sedat Akkurnaz, an archaeologist at Adnan Menderes University in Turkey, told Live Science in a translated email.

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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Roman stately home unearthed in Scarborough 'potential world first'

The complex of buildings include a circular room and a bath house
MAP ARCHAEOLOGICAL PRACTICE

A Roman villa unearthed on a building site has been described as potentially "the first of its kind" ever found.

The remains of the large "stately home" and bath house were found on a site in Scarborough, in North Yorkshire.

Historic England said the type of layout has "never been seen in Britain" and may be the first example "within the whole former Roman Empire".

Inspector of ancient monuments Keith Emerick said it was "more than we ever dreamed of discovering".

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Roman site uncovered in Scarborough hailed as first of its kind in UK

The Roman remains discovered at Eastfield, Scarborough, are on the site of a new housing estate being constructed by Keepmoat Homes.
Photograph: MAP Archaeological Practice

When developers broke ground on the outskirts of Scarborough, they were hoping to build a housing estate ideal for first-time buyers, families and professionals, with en suites, off-street parking and integrated kitchens galore. But before shovels had even hit earth, they found someone else had got there first: the Romans.

The remains of a Roman settlement believed to be the first of its kind discovered in Britain – and possibly the whole Roman empire – has been uncovered near the North Yorkshire seaside town.

The find might have caused a headache for the developer Keepmoat Homes but has sparked excitement among experts, with Historic England describing it as “easily the most important Roman discovery of the last decade”.

The large complex of buildings – approximately the size of two tennis courts – includes a cylindrical tower structure with a number of rooms leading from it and a bathhouse. As excavations and analysis continue, historians believe the site may have been the estate of a wealthy landowner, which could have later become a religious sanctuary or even a high-end “stately home-cum-gentleman’s club”.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Archaeologists baffled by mystifying feature at Hadrian's Wall: 'Don't know why'


The Roman Empire's conquest of Britain began almost 2,000 years ago. It changed the face of the country forever. Roman culture, food, art, as well as the myriad religions that were practiced across the Empire were brought to the island's shores.

To occupy and cordon off swathes of land the Romans erected forts and walls around Britain, many of which survive today.

One of the most notable pieces is Hadrian's Wall.

Stretching 73 miles from the banks of the River Tyne near the North Sea, all the way west to the Solway Firth near the Irish Sea, work on the Wall started in 122 AD.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Massive Roman Villa From 4th Century With Huge 60ft Mosaic Discovered In Southern Spain

The Roman villa was discovered in the site of El Altillo in Jaen province of southern Spain. (Universidad Jaen/Real Press)

A massive 1,600-year-old Roman villa measuring over 20,000 square feet was discovered in southern Spain.

The villa boasts a huge mosaic measuring over 60 feet long.

The experts think that the villa probably belonged to a rich family that owned numerous farms, which is why they had enough capital to afford such a luxurious mosaic.

The excavations took place at the archeologic site of El Altillo, located in the municipality of Rus, in the southern Spanish province of Jaen, in the Andalusia region, after a few remains from the mosaic were unearthed.

Dr. Jose Luis Serrano Pena, co-director of the Villa El Altillo excavation project, along with Marcos Soto Civantos, decided to do a full-scale dig because the ancient remains were at risk of being destroyed by farmworkers in the area or of being stolen.

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Curule chair found in Roman funeral pyre


The charred remains of a curule chair have been recovered from a 1st century A.D. funeral pyre in the town of Épagny-Metz-Tessy in southeastern France. Archaeologists discovered the remains of two Roman funeral pyres in a salvage excavation before construction of new residential buildings.

The first pyre is the oldest of the two. It contains the remains of a young child between five and eight years old at time of death. The pyre was furnished with a great abundance of goods, including 17 ceramic vessels, 10 bronze vases and four glass vessels containing the remains of food offerings (lentils, beans, pork, rooster, wine). It was the child’s final banquet, and it was a grand one. Other goods were use items — three copper alloy strigils, bone game tokens — and furnishings (the funeral bed, boxes).


Monday, March 22, 2021

Time Team to dig for Roman villa at Fiennes’ castle


The nation’s favourite history programme Time Team is back on digital platforms - and the first dig will be an enormous Roman villa on the Broughton Estate near Banbury.

The hands-on team of expert archaeologists will be unearthing a building thought to be as large as Buckingham Palace.

There may be mosaics, a bath house and even temples. It is thought it could be one of the biggest discovered in recent times.

The Broughton Estate is owned by Martin Fiennes – a cousin of actors Joseph and Ralph – who coincidentally played archaeologist Basil Brown in the recent Netflix movie The Dig.

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Sunday, March 21, 2021

Roman highway uncovered between Antwerp and West Flanders


Archaeological excavations in Adegem near Maldegem, West Flanders, have uncovered traces of a Roman road linking Antwerp to an important Roman camp. The existence of the road was known, but now for the first time there is archaeological evidence.

The Roman road between Antwerp and the West Flemish municipality of Oudenburg has been discovered during archaeological excavations carried out as part of the construction of a supermarket. The archaeologists started last week and soon found traces of the ancient highway. "The site is right next to the N9 route and we expected to find something here,” said archaeologist Johan Hoorne. “The fact that it really is there is very cool."

"It was one of the most important routes in the wider region," Hoorne continued. "It was a dirt road to Antwerp that ran over the sandy ridge of Oudenburg." In Adegem, two important Roman roads cross. There was the north-south connection that runs from Kerkhove, just over the provincial border in West Flanders, to Aardenburg in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. And there was also the road between Oudenburg and Antwerp that has now been uncovered. "The Roman roads in the sandy region are not well known because they were not laid out in stone. But that doesn't mean they weren't important," added Hoorne.

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Stone anchors found in River Wear could reveal Roman port

The five stone anchors found in the river suggest the vessels could have been part of a trading network
KEITH COCKERILL

A trove of Roman artefacts has been uncovered in the River Wear which could cast "significant" new light on life in the area nearly 2,000 years ago.

The find, in North Hylton, Sunderland, includes five stone anchors, thought to be the first time they have been discovered in a river.

One theory still to be examined is that it may have been home to a small port.

Underwater archaeologist Gary Bankhead said he could not "over-emphasize" the importance of the discovery.

Although a dam is known to have existed in the area since the Victorian times, if theories are confirmed it would be only the second such port ever discovered in Britain.

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Thursday, March 11, 2021

Gloucester: Experts to study Roman wall found in city centre

Further work is due to take place at the site to uncover any further details about the "really interesting structure" GLOUCESTER CITY COUNCIL

Archaeologists preparing for a revamp of part of Gloucester city centre have uncovered a Roman wall.

The limestone structure was found 2.1m (6.8ft) below ground level as part of work for the King's Square redevelopment.

Experts say that it is aligned 45 degrees to the city's Roman walls and that it was probably an internal corner tower.

Further work is due to take place at the site to excavate further.

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