Friday, December 18, 2009

Experts bid to decode Roman altar

A PAIR of German computer experts are hoping to decode part of South Shields's history by setting their sights on a mysterious Roman altar.

Bjorn Brecht and Bruno Kessler, who are both studying for their masters in geo-computer programming at the University of Applied Science in Mainz, Germany, were invited to Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum in South Shields to help make sense of a now-invisible inscription on a third century AD column.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Archaeologists find late Roman grave in Budapest

Archaeologists unearthed a burial place from the 4th century - the last period of Roman rule in the former Pannonia province - in NW Budapest, the head of the excavation project told MTI on Monday.

Archaeologist Gabor Lassanyi said that the grave had been dated based on a bone comb it contained. The comb - made with three components fastened together by way of small iron thuds and decorated with geometric motifs - was similar to objects made by barbarian tribes on the area of today's eastern Hungary, and which only became fashionable in Pannonia during the last decades of the era, Lassanyi said.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Dig must go ahead at All Saints' before Church House can be extended

Archaeologists are to dig up part of the grounds of an Ilkley church which stands on the site of a Roman fort.

Permission is being sought for excavations at All Saints’ Church to clear the way for an extension at its neighbour, Church House.

The church, which lies at the crossroads in Ilkley, stands on the site of the Roman fort of Olicana, which is protected by scheduled monument status.

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Was Largs a Roman holiday resort?

In this week's 'Know Your News' we head back to the distant past when the beautiful surroundings of Largs proved attractive to the Romans.

In 1958, St Columba's Parish Church Fellowship had a most interesting evening "Hearin' Aboot Auld Largs" from Mr Duncan Brown.

Mr Brown traced Largs to the days when the Romans resided by its shores. He spoke of the finds of old Roman coins and paving underneath the Post Office in Main Street in 1820; also of a Roman well found in Nelson Street while Knock Hill had been a Roman Fort.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

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Monday, December 7, 2009

The Ruins of Pompeii are now on Google Streetview

The Ruins of Pompeii are now featured on Google Streetview.

You can follow the suggested itinerary through the ruins, or rotate, zoom, etc to you heart’s content!

You can find the Ruins of Pompeii here…

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Welcome to the AD 410 web site

2010 marks the 1600th anniversary of the end of Roman Britain in AD 410 - one of the greatest turning points in our history. What was life on the island like at this critical moment? Was it fire and sword, with barbarian raids, peasant risings, tribal warfare?

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Yes! We've found another Nero..

AN ANCIENT statue of a boy's head is very likely a depiction of one of the most hated Roman Emperors, scientists have revealed.

The breakthrough discovery at Fishbourne Roman Palace has amazed archaeologists and could rewrite history.

Scientists believe the statue unearthed at the palace depicts Emperor Nero as a young boy.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mosaics tell of Somerset prosperity in Roman times

They were the perfect way to demonstrate wealth and culture in Roman Britain, and a new book on Roman mosaics says a little town in Somerset was probably home to some of the art's best craftsmen.

To impress your guests, what could be better than installing a mosaic pavement full of cultural (and sensual) delights in the bath block?

The owner of the villa at Low Ham, near Langport, did just that. He called in craftsmen to recreate the legend of the love between Dido, Queen of Carthage and Aeneas of Troy, as told by Virgil, in five lively panels on the floor of the cold room.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Roman remains site 'has become dumping ground'

A SITE that helped archaeologists discover more about Colchester’s history has become a “dumping ground”, according to residents living nearby.

The piece of land in St Peter’s Street, which backs on to Northgate Street, has been left undeveloped for almost a decade.

Colchester Archaeological Trust discovered the remains of a Roman Road, Roman wall and a well-preserved wooden Roman drain when they dug up the site last year.

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Week of the centurions at Fishbourne Roman Palace

A museum is going military to teach children army life nearly 2,000 years ago.

Fishbourne Roman Palace, near Chichester, has organised a Roman Army Week from October 26 to 30.

Visitors will be able to get an army 'tattoo', try their hand with spear practice and learn how to write their name in Latin.

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Roman chariot find needs £200,000 to secure centre dream

PLANS for a Roman chariot circus visitor centre in Colchester could fail for the lack of £200,000.

A consortium, which is looking to create the centre, has had offers from two bidders who between them are prepared to put up half the £400,000 needed from private investors to secure the project.

But the January deadline is fast approaching and Philip Crummy, of Colchester Archaeological Trust, said he was “pessimistic” of finding a third backer.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

History Cookbook

Welcome to the history cookbook. Do you know what the Vikings ate for dinner? What a typical meal of a wealthy family in Roman Britain consisted of, or what food was like in a Victorian Workhouse? Why not drop into history cookbook and find out? This project looks at the food of the past and how this influenced the health of the people living in each time period. You can also try some of the recipes for yourself. We have a wide range of historical recipes from Brown Bread Ice Cream to Gruel (Why not see if you would be asking for more - just like Oliver Twist).

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Ancient Rome's Real Population Revealed

The first century B.C. was one of the most culturally rich in the history of the Roman Empire - the age of Cicero, Caesar and Virgil. But as much as historians know about the great figures of this period of Ancient Rome, they know very little about some basic facts, such as the population size of the late Roman Empire.

Now, a group of historians has used caches of buried coins to provide an answer to this question.

During the Republican period of Rome (about the fifth to the first centuries B.C), adult male citizens of Rome could be taxed and conscribed into the army and were also given the right to vote. To keep track of this section of the population (and their taxable assets), the Roman state conducted periodic censuses.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Ship survey reveals Romans liked French wine

THE Department of Antiquities has just released the findings of its survey of a Roman shipwreck near Cape Greco on the Island's southeast coast.

The shipwreck dates from the 2nd century AD and contains over 130 ceramic jars, likely to have been carrying wine or oil.

"Its location in shallow waters, suggest that either the vessel was nearing an intended port-of-call, or else was engaged in a coasting trade, moving products to market over short distances up and down the coast," said a press release from the Department of Antiquities.

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Whatever happened to all the Neros?

Archaeologists believe a statue of a boy's head may be a depiction of one of the most hated Roman Emperors.

The head found at Fishbourne Roman Palace, West Sussex, will undergo a 3D scan to see if it is a rare marble statue of Emperor Nero as a young boy.

If it is, it would be only the third surviving piece of its kind in the world.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Nero's dining room unveiled in Rome

Archaeologists say they have unveiled what they believe to be remains of the "dining room" of the Roman emperor Nero, part of his palatial residence built in the first century.

Lead archaeologist Francoise Villedieu says her team discovered part of a circular room, which experts believe rotated day and night to imitate the Earth's movement and impress guests.

Villedieu told journalists Tuesday that the room on the ancient Palatine Hill was supported by a pillar with a diameter of 4 meters (more than 13 feet). She says only the foundation of the room was recovered during the four-month excavation.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Historic Roman salt store found on mudflats

A 2,000-YEAR-OLD Roman salthouse has been discovered during archaeological excavations at the planned £1.5billion port at Coryton.

Archaeologists who made the find on the 34-acre site are set to unveil the full extent of the discovery on Tuesday, September 15.

The site where the mine was found is due to become a wildlife area, protecting a range of birds, animals and plants to offset any disruption caused during the construction of the port.

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Archaeologists discover 2,000-year-old Roman salthouse in England

Archaeological excavations at the planned 1.5 billion pounds port at Coryton, England, have revealed a 2,000-year-old Roman salthouse.

According to the Echo, the site where the mine was found is due to become a wildlife area, protecting a range of birds, animals and plants to offset any disruption caused during the construction of the port.

Xavier Woodward, a spokesman for DP World, which is the global company behind the port development, confirmed a Roman salt roundhouse had been discovered.

The find has not been classed as of national significance, but is of regional value, he said.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Online Courses in Archaeology

Cave paintings, castles and pyramids, Neanderthals, Romans and Vikings - archaeology is about the excitement of discovery, finding out about our ancestors, exploring landscape through time, piecing together puzzles of the past from material remains.

Our courses enable you to experience all this through online archaeological resources based on primary evidence from excavations and artefacts and from complex scientific processes and current thinking. Together with guided reading, discussion and activities you can experience how archaeologists work today to increase our knowledge of people and societies from the past.

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Archaeologists uncover large Roman statue of Augustus

Archaeologists in have discovered fragments of a 2,000-year-old bronze Roman equestrian statue of Emperor Augustus in a stream near Giessen, the Hessian state science ministry has announced.

"There has never been a find of such quality and preservation in Germany," a statement from the ministry said, adding that it was a "sensational" discovery.

On August 12, archaeologists pulled the gold-gilded, life-sized head of a horse and a shoe of the emperor – who ruled the Roman Empire between 23 BC and 14 AD – from a stream in what was once the Roman outpost Germania Magna. Experts there have uncovered several bits of the statue among some 20,000 artefacts uncovered at the site in recent years.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Excavations reveal Roman history

Archaeological excavations at the site of a former plant nursery, set to be developed for housing, have found evidence of Iron Age and Roman use.

The dig at the former Unwins Nursery at Impington, Cambridgeshire, found occupation dating from about 100BC with evidence of an Iron Age roundhouse.

The site was developed in Roman times with a series of ditches and pottery found is from the 2nd and 3rd Century.

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Excavations reveal Roman history at Impington

Archaeological excavations at the site of a former plant nursery, set to be developed for housing, have found evidence of Iron Age and Roman use.

The dig at the former Unwins Nursery at Impington, Cambridgeshire, found occupation dating from about 100BC with evidence of an Iron Age roundhouse.

The site was developed in Roman times with a series of ditches and pottery found is from the 2nd and 3rd Century.

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Dig could reveal Norfolk's Roman secrets

In 1929 a picture snapped from an RAF aircraft showed the pattern of a Roman town among the fields of Caistor St Edmund and made the front page of national newspapers. Reporter Dan Grimmer reports how, 80 years later, excavations are set to start which could finally unlock Venta Icenorum's secrets…

The first major dig of a Roman town on the outskirts of Norwich, which archaeologists say could be of international importance, will start this month - on the 80th anniversary of the first excavations there.

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Dig sheds new light on Roman life

IT'S been 25 years since any new sections of Arbeia Roman Fort in South Shields were excavated.

But a pioneering dig which recently got under way could tell us more about the lives of those inside and outside of its walls.

We got down and dirty with the archaeologists and volunteers working on the dig.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Hadrian’s Wall was built of wood

A HEXHAM archaeologist has challenged perceived wisdom with startling claims that Hadrian’s Wall was originally built of wood.

In a 65,000 word thesis published on his website, Geoff Carter says his hypothesis answers some age-old questions.

Archaeologists have long wondered why the ditch that runs parallel is several feet away from the Wall itself, reducing its effectiveness as a deterrent to invaders.

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Archaeologists discover full Roman bath suite in the Isle of Wight

A team of professional archaeologists, along with volunteers, has discovered a full Roman bath suite, complete with hot baths and a cold plunge pool, in the town of Banding, in the Isle of Wight, UK.

“We are extremely pleased with the find,” British archaeologist Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe, who led the archaeological team, told Isle of Wight news.

“It’s slightly ruined around the foundations, but you can clearly see the baths. The suite is tucked well away from the rest of the villa, so I think it might pre-date the villa to when there was a timber house on the site,” he said.

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Army of Roman experts heads for Hadrian's Wall

MORE than 300 of the world's top experts on Roman history and archaeology will be visiting Hadrian's Wall this month.

From August 17 to 23 they will gather to share ideas and information on the frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heriatge Site.

The international specialists meet every three years to discuss the Roman frontiers - from Hadrian's Wall and the Antonine Wall, along the banks of the Rhine and the Danube, to the deserts of North Africa.

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National award for Roman museum

The Corinium Museum in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, has been accredited by a national scheme in recognition of the standard of its care and collections.

The award, from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), looks at how a venue is run and managed and the services it offers to visitors.

The Corinium Museum holds nationally important collections of archaeology, social history and old photographs.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Roman relics found at Carlisle Sainsbury's store site

Roman remains have been found under the site of a proposed Sainsbury’s store in Carlisle which is poised for approval next week.

The remains – said to be potentially significant – were discovered underneath the site of the convenience store in Stanwix – but should not delay any building work significantly.

Councillors will debate revised plans for a Sainsbury’s Local and nine flats next Friday but they have been recommended for approval by planners.

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Friday, July 31, 2009

Ancient warrior's skeleton found buried in a tomb on a beach near Rome

Archaeologists have found the skeleton of a warrior from up to 5,000 years ago floating in a tomb filled with sea water on a beach near Rome, Italy's art squad said Friday.

The bones — believed to date from the 3rd millennium B.C. — were discovered in May as art hunters were carrying out routine checks of the region's archaeological areas, Carabinieri art squad official Raffaele Mancino said.

Archaeologists believe the warrior was likely killed by an arrow, part of which was found among his ribs, Mancino said. There was also a hole in the back of the skull, and six vases and two daggers were found buried nearby.

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Maps reveal Venice 'forerunner'

Aerial photographs have revealed the streetplan of a lost Roman city called Altinum, which some scholars regard as a forerunner of Venice.

The images reveal the remains of city walls, the street network, dwellings, theatres and other structures.

They also show a complex network of rivers and canals, revealing how the people mastered the marshy environment in what is now the lagoon of Venice.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Treasures of Art, Buried for Centuries

In the first century B.C., the Gulf of Naples became the playground par excellence of the Roman elite. Here, according to Cicero, was to be found an endless round of “banquets, parties, song, music, excursions in boats,” not to mention “intrigues, love affairs and adulteries.”

The idyll came to an abrupt end in August A.D. 79, with the eruption of Vesuvius. Along with the now more familiar Pompeii and Herculaneum, the seaside resort of Stabiae was also buried in several meters of cinder and ash. Stabiae, to the south of Pompeii, was not a town but a string of enormous luxury villas stretching along the coast, their remains now contiguous with the port town of Castellammare di Stabia.

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Turkey: Archaeological Remains of Roman Theatre to be Unearthed in Ankara

The remains of an ancient Roman theatre, which are partly buried underneath a building, will be unearthed in Turkey’s capital to become a spot for cultural events.

As a result of the initiative of Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, a building constructed 15 years ago atop the remains of the Roman theatre will be torn down, the television channel CNN Türk reported today.

The ancient remains were discovered in 1982 in the Ulus quarter of the capital, which used to be the heart of old Ankara.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Archaeologists find graveyard of sunken Roman ships

A team of archaeologists using sonar technology to scan the seabed have discovered a "graveyard" of five pristine ancient Roman shipwrecks off the small Italian island of Ventotene.

The trading vessels, dating from the first century BC to the fifth century AD, lie more than 100 meters underwater and are amongst the deepest wrecks discovered in the Mediterranean in recent years, the researchers said on Thursday.

Part of an archipelago situated halfway between Rome and Naples on Italy's west coast, Ventotene historically served as a place of shelter during rough weather in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

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Archaeologists Discover Nymph Sanctuary in Central Bulgaria

A sanctuary where the nymph cult used to be celebrated in Antiquity was recently found by archaeologists in the vicinity of the Nicopolis ad Istrum ancient site, located near the town of Veliko Tarnovo in central Bulgaria.

The experts discovered an alley, leading to a spring and covered with limestone tiles decorated in a stand-out relief.

The find is a first of its kind in the region, Pavlina Vladkova, leader of the archaeological team, told national media. Until now, she said, the only testament of the nymph cult in Nicopolis ad Istrum used to be images on coins made in the second century under the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus, as well as ancient inscriptions.

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Alter to Mysterious Deity Found at Roman Fort

A massive altar dedicated to an eastern cult deity has emerged during excavations of a Roman fort in northern England.

Weighing 1.5 tons, the four-foot high ornately carved stone relic, was unearthed at the Roman fort of Vindolanda, which was built by order of the Emperor Hadrian between 122-30 A.D.

The Romans built the defensive wall across the north of Britain from Carlisle to Newcastle-on-Tyne, to keep out invading armies from what is now Scotland.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Ancient shrine found at Hadrian's Wall fort

A unique religious shrine to a Roman god has been uncovered at a fort along Hadrian’s Wall.

The altar dedicated to Jupiter of Doliche has been discovered next to the north gate of Vindolanda in Northumberland.

Director of excavations Andrew Birley said: “What should have been part of the rampart mound near the north gate has turned out to be an amazing religious shrine with a substantial and exceptionally well preserved altar dedicated by a prefect of the Fourth Cohort of Gauls to an important eastern god, Jupiter of Doliche.

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Roman road discovery is ‘missing link’ in Huddersfield history

IT’s a small strip of land, barely six metres long.

But for historians and archaeologists, the patch of earth near Outlane is a remarkable find.

And it is more evidence of how the Romans lived and worked in Huddersfield 2,000 years ago.

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Experts hold summit to unravel mystery of rebel Roman fortress in Norfolk

Last week (June 25 2009) a summit was held at the University of Nottingham to discuss new revelations on the mysterious Norfolk town of Caistor St Edmund.

A buried Roman province which caused sensation when RAF pictures of the site appeared on the front page of The Times in 1929, Caistor was adjudged to have been a densely-occupied urban area, abandoned by the Emperor of the struggling empire in 5AD.

New research, though, suggests such theories could be flimsily inaccurate. Using a Caesium Vapour magnetometer – a virtual grid survey device which resembles a cross between a calculator and an iPod – an expert team discovered a theatre, traces of Queen Boudicca's rebel Iceni tribe and strong signs of activity in the area through the Iron Age and up to 900AD.

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Roman well discovered at hotel site

A Roman well has been unearthed on a Chester development site which will soon house a new hotel.
Just two weeks of digging on Upper Northgate Street and Delamere Street has exposed a rock-cut Roman well and several large quarries.

The quarries were used as medieval rubbish dumps which experts say may prove invaluable to archaeologists.

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Rare Peek at Riches of Past in Rome

For decades now, excavations in the Roman Forum and on the Palatine Hill have yielded grand halls and imperial residences with fanciful frescoes and graceful stucco reliefs.

Often, after the initial news media fanfare that usually accompanies such finds and their restoration, many of the ancient habitats have returned to the obscurity from which they emerged. There just aren’t enough custodians to monitor these important archaeological sites, and so they are off limits to the public.

But this summer — except in August, when it’s too hot — Rome’s archaeological authority has reallocated money so that it can provide staffs for five monuments in the ancient heart of Rome that are usually closed. The initiative will also allow nighttime visits to the Colosseum and offer free after-hours concerts in the museums that house the state’s collection of ancient Roman art.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Students dig Iron Age

TROWELS are at the ready for an annual dig that will uncover new information about an Iron Age settlement.

The annual Silchester dig on the site of Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum, near Silchester, begins on Monday for six weeks, until August 9.

The dig is organised by the Field School at Reading University’s Department of Archaeology as a research and training excavation which this year will involve about 70 first year archaeology students and 200 other people learning the ropes of excavation.

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Important trade links unearthed

AN archaeological dig in the centre of Worcester has been hailed as the most important excavation of the Roman period in 20 years.

The excavation of The Butts, on the site of the future Worcester Library and History Centre site, has given local historians a major insight into the Roman town of Vigornia – which became Worcester.

Worcestershire County Council’s historic environment and archaeology team can now prove that Roman Worcester was a well-developed town with trade links across the empire.

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Scarborough's Roman coin find

METAL-detecting enthusiasts could soon be coining it in after discovering a hoard of silver Roman cash dating back 1,500 years.

The find of 75 silver coins and 10 bronze, dating back to the year 355, was made on farmland near Filey.

They were issued during the reign of several Roman emperors, including Julian, Valentinian and Valens.

The discovery was officially confirmed as treasure by Scarborough coroner Michael Oakley at a special inquest. That means the British Museum Trust has "first refusal" on the find.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Erstmals seit dem Ende der Antike: Zwei römische Schiffe treffen sich auf der Mosel

Das rekonstruierte Kriegsschiff "Victoria" kommt nach Trier

Römische Kriegsschiffe auf der Mosel? Hat es das seit den glorreichen Zeiten des Kaisers Konstantin jemals wieder gegeben? Die Verleihung des Ausonius-Preises an Prof. Dr. Rainer Wiegels, einen der führenden Varus-Forscher, am 26. Juni 2009 macht es erstmals möglich: Das rekonstruierte Kriegsschiff "Victoria" kommt im Rahmen der Ausstellung "Imperium Konflikt Mythos. 2000 Jahre Varus-Schlacht" nach Trier.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Showcasing the secrets of Caistor Roman Town

In December 2007 a team of experts, led by The University of Nottingham, unveiled an extraordinary set of high-resolution images that gave an insight into the plan of the Roman town of Venta Icenorum at Caistor St Edmund in Norfolk.

The new research demonstrated that Caistor is a site of international importance — and tomorrow there will be an event to showcase the work and to clarify some of the mysteries of this buried roman town and highlight the impact of the research in developing Caistor as a cultural resource for Norfolk.

The high-resolution geophysical survey used a Caesium Vapour magnetometer to map buried remains across the entire walled area of the Roman town. It produced the clearest plan of the town yet seen confirming the street plan, the town’s water supply system, and the series of public buildings including the baths, temples and forum, know from earlier excavations.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Marble Head of Emperor Titus Found

Archaeologists have unearthed a hoard of ancient Roman treasures, including a marble head of the Roman emperor Titus, during an excavation outside the southern Italian city of Naples.

The long-term digging effort in Rione Terra, a cliff in the port town of Pozzuoli, has yielded remains of 12 ancient statues, columns and fragments bearing inscriptions from what appear to be monuments from the Republican and Imperial periods of ancient Roman history.

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Underground cave dating from the year 1 A.D. exposed in Jordan Valley

The cave was originally a large quarry during the Roman and Byzantine era and was one of its kind; various engravings were uncovered in the cave, including cross markings, and it is assumed that this could have been an early monastery

An artificial underground cave, the largest in Israel, has been exposed in the Jordan Valley in the course of a survey carried out by the University of Haifa's Department of Archaeology. Prof. Adam Zertal, who headed the excavating team, reckons that this cave was originally a large quarry during the Roman and Byzantine era and was one of its kind. Various engravings were uncovered in the cave, including cross markings, and it is assumed that this could have been an early monastery. "It is probably the site of "Galgala" from the historical Madaba Map," Prof. Zertal says.

The enormous and striking cave covers an area of approximately 1 acre: it is some 100 meters long and about 40 meters wide. The cave is located 4 km north of Jericho. The cave, which is the largest excavated by man to be discovered in Israel, was exposed in the course of an archaeological survey that the University of Haifa has been carrying out since 1978.

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Ancient Holy Land quarry uncovered, team says

Israeli archaeologists said on Sunday they had discovered the largest underground quarry in the Holy Land, dating back to the time of Jesus and containing Christian symbols etched into the walls.

The 4,000-square-meter (yard) cavern, buried 10 meters beneath the desert near the ancient West Bank city of Jericho, was dug about 2,000 years ago and was in use for about half a millennium, archaeologist Adam Zertal said.

The cave's main hall, about three meters tall, is supported by some 20 stone pillars and has a variety of symbols etched into the walls, including crosses dating back to about AD 350 and Roman legionary emblems.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Roman shipwreck find

A shipwreck believed to date back to Roman times was found at the bottom of Montenegro's Boka Kotorska bay, officials said on Tuesday.

"We believe we have found the wreckage of a ship that could have been used to transport goods," Montenegro's regional Cultural Heritage Preservation Institute said in a statement.

Officials refused to reveal the location of the shipwreck until the area was fully secured.

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Huge Roman-era cave found by Jericho

The largest cave ever found in Israel has been uncovered near the West Bank city of Jericho etched with Christian symbols, an Israeli archeologist said Sunday.

The immense cave, which spans more than four dunams and is buried 10 meters beneath the desert, was dug about 2,000 years ago, Haifa University archaeologist Prof. Adam Zertal said.

The site, which is located 4 km north of the ancient city of Jericho, was used as a large quarry in the Roman era and was probably used as a monastery and a hiding place for hundreds of years, he said.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Artefacts found at nature reserve

Human remains and Roman artefacts have been unearthed in an Iron Age ditch at a new nature reserve in Cambridgeshire.

Archaeologists made the discoveries at a former quarry at Cherry Hinton, near Cambridge, which is to open to visitors for the first time in 100 years.

East Pit has been transformed by the Cambridgeshire Wildlife Trust into a haven for wild flowers and birds.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Blog for 'burial pit' relief road

A multimillion pound road development in Dorset has become the county council's first project to have its own online blog.

The Weymouth Relief Road site attracted much interest when archaeologists found an ancient burial pit last week.

The £87m road is being built to ease traffic between Dorchester and Weymouth and Portland, where the Olympic sailing events will be held in 2012.

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Roman village discovered near Varna

Village from the Roman era discovered archaeologists near Varna.

The short sample surveys in the region of Mentesheto near Varna have been concluded, informed from the Archaeological museum in Varna, informed radio Varna.
The resembling dolmen stone formation has been researched by Alexander Minchev and Teodor Rokov.

The research shows that it was created nearly 2000 ago with stone tables taken out from the existing nearby big water reservoir.

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Archaeologists Discovered Roman Settlement in North-Eastern Bulgaria

A previously unknown settlement from the Roman Era was recently discovered by archaeologists in the Mentesheto area near the town of Varna on Bulgaria’s northern Black Sea coast.

The discovery was made by archaeologists Aleksadar Michev and Teodor Rokov, who were exploring a stone structure reminiscent of a ‘dolmen’ – a typical Thracian tomb from the Early Iron Age. The excavations show that the stone slabs on the earth’s surface were new, although four main periods of inhabitation of the place through the centuries were discovered under the ground, the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency wrote today.

The earliest testament of a human presence at the site dates to the second and third centuries. The archaeologists’ discovery linked to this period is the stone flooring, which probably constituted part of the courtyard of a large building or Roman villa, which was destroyed around the middle of the third century by a Gothic invasion.

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Italy: Archeological treasures found near Naples

Archaeologists have unearthed a number of ancient Roman treasures during excavation outside the southern Italian city of Naples. Twelve ancient statues, columns and fragments bearing inscriptions from what appear to be monuments from the Republican and Imperial periods of ancient Roman history have been uncovered.

A head of the Roman emperor Tiberius bearing a crown of laurel leaves, two other male heads and a fragment of a painting are among the objects from the late Republican period in the 3rd century BC discovered by a team of archeologists at the site in Rione Terra di Pozzuoli.

Two female heads were also uncovered. One may be the head of an Amazon warrior from the 2nd century AD, while the second is believed to be a Roman empress from the late Julio-Claudian dynasty.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dorset grave site reveals dark side of Romans

WITH their central heating, fancy flooring, hot and cold running water and drinkable wine, it’s not hard to see what the Romans did for us.

And 2,000 years on, as we unearth pots, jewellery and the footings of luxury villas, as well as continuing to use the roads and aqueducts they built for us, it seems their PR machine is still cranking out the good publicity.

But it wasn’t all mosaics, music and orgies because the Romans had their dark side. Before they started building cities, creating parks and installing decent lavvies, they first took time to butcher many of our ancestors.

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Executed Iron Age bodies from Roman battle found in pit on Olympic transport route

A 2,000-year-old mass grave full of dismembered bodies and skulls has been discovered at an ancient burial site being dug up to create a road for the 2012 Olympics.

Archaeologists excavating the Weymouth Relief Road, on Ridgeway Hill near Weymouth, believe the pit of corpses comprises Iron Age war casualties massacred by the Roman Army.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Archaeologists find skulls on route of new road

• Remains in Dorset burial pit may be 2,000 years old
• Theories include battle with Romans or epidemic

The skulls of scores of young men have been found in a burial pit on the route of a new road in Dorset.

So far 45 skulls, believed to be almost 2,000 years old, have been found, and more may be found as the pit is emptied. Archaeologists have called the discovery extraordinary, saying it could be evidence of a disaster, a mass execution, a battle or possibly an epidemic.

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Mass Roman war grave found by 2012 Olympic road builders

A mass "war grave" containing the skulls of 45 people dating back to Roman times has been uncovered as work begins on a new road being built to a 2012 Olympic venue.

Archaeologists made the discovery while carrying out a dig on the site of the new £87 million relief road to Weymouth, Dorset – the sailing venue for the forthcoming games which was visited by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh on Thursday.

The burial pit on nearby Ridgeway Hill has been found to contain various skeleton pieces including 45 skulls.

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Roman ruins found on 2012 Olympics relief road

A mass "war grave" containing the skulls of 45 people dating back to Roman times has been uncovered as work begins on a new road being built to a 2012 Olympic venue.

Archaeologists made the discovery while carrying out a dig on the site of the new £87 million relief road to Weymouth, the Dorset sailing venue for the forthcoming Games.

The burial pit on nearby Ridgeway Hill has been found to contain various skeleton pieces including 45 skulls.

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Mass Roman grave reveals headless bodies

A 2,000-year-old mass grave containing at least 45 headless bodies has been uncovered by workers digging a new road for the Olympics.

The victims are thought to have been slaughtered by the invading Romans in about 43AD.

The 6m-wide (20ft) plot within the site of an £87million relief road near Weymouth in Dorset has now been sealed off while archaeologists examine the 'remarkable' discovery.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Italy: Ancient Roman wall in 'danger' of collapse

There are fears for the future of Rome's ancient Aurelian walls after chunks collapsed on Tuesday. A major street was closed in the Italian capital after bricks from the nearly 2000-year old wall fell down.

The city's archaeological authorities want to save the historic treasure, but they claim protection and restoration is limited due to poor financial resources, according to the Italian daily, Il Messaggero.

Authorities told the daily that whenever chunks of the walls collapse, the area is usually fenced off, but restoration work is almost never completed due to a lack of funds.

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Dig unearths Roman road at Tesco

One of the longest sections of Roman road ever found in Wales is being unearthed at the site of a new Tesco.

The highway was carved out of the Powys countryside in Newtown 2,000 years ago, and is thought to have linked two forts.

Archaeologists are excavating three separate sections of the road, and they expect to uncover a total of 300 metres.

The work will not delay the development of the supermarket.

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Allotment reveals its Roman past

Roman skeletons and artefacts have been found by people digging a pond in a set of Leicester allotments.

The group said they were shocked when they came across a skull and other bones just hours after starting work on the land.

A team from the University of Leicester used pottery to confirm the skeletons dated from the second century AD.

The allotment holders have been told their vegetable plots were probably once a Roman cemetery.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Domus Aurea work 'to take two years'

One of Rome's prime tourist attractions, the ruins of Nero's Domus Aurea, will reopen again in two years' time after work to make it completely safe for the public, officials said Wednesday.

The fabled 'Golden House' has been closed since 2005 after masonry fell from flaking walls and a high level of dangerous seepage was detected.

The work will begin in a month's time, officials said.

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Groundbreaking exhibit on historic German-Roman battle opens

The exhibition is spread over three sites in Detmold, Kalkriese and Haltern and organizers are expecting more than half a million visitors by fall.

The joint project is called "Imperium Conflict Myth" and the exhibits will take visitors back 2000 years, to when an alliance of Germanic tribes annihilated three elite Roman Legions in the famous so-called Battle of Teutoburg, or Varus Battle.

Battle prevented Germany's full romanization

This may seem too long ago to be of any significance today, but some historians say the defeat in 9 AD prevented a full romanization of Germany and arguably altered the course of Roman, German and European history.

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Bowl may offer Roman Britain clues

A bowl thought to be 1,700 years old has been discovered in London and may hold clues to life in ancient Roman Britain, researchers say.

Liz Goodman, archaeology conservator at the Museum of London, said the bowl called millefiori, which means "one thousand flowers," may represent the first of its kind to be discovered in what was once the western Roman Empire, The Daily Mail reported Wednesday.

"We occasionally get tiny fragments of millefiori, but the opportunity to work on a whole artifact of this nature is extraordinary," Goodman said.

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Roman glass dish found in grave

A rare Roman millefiori dish has been unearthed by archaeologists from the grave of a wealthy Londoner.

The dish, which has gone on display at the Museum of London in Docklands, was found during excavations in Prescot Street, in Aldgate, east London.

It was pieced together from its many fragments.

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German scientists find clues to Roman mass production

German scientists disclosed Friday new evidence that the ancient Romans used mass-production methods to make metalwares at lesser cost, just like modern factories do. A close study of a 28-centimetre-tall bronze figure of the god Mercury made in the 2nd century AD showed it was hollow - an indication of cost cutting - and that its legs were made separately, indicating some kind of assembly line to exploit economies of scale.

Technical University of Munich scientists at the FRM-II research nuclear reactor in Garching near Munich blasted the statue with neutrons to reveal metal joins that are invisible to X-rays.

Physicist Martin Mühlbauer said the neutron tomography study was done on a statue lent by Munich's Archaeological

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Archaeologists keen to trace origins of Roman skeleton

A ROMAN skeleton which was found in Kingsholm is being investigated by archeologists who are keen to trace his origins.

The male skeleton was discovered in 1972, north of Kingsholm Square and ever since experts have wondered where he came from. Now, the Gloucester City Museum has had funding for the analysis of the skeleton using new technology to work out where he originated. Member and former president of The Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, Carolyn Heighway, said: "We believe he was a special person in the late Roman period in Gloucester, judging by his grand belt and buckles and that sort of thing.

"Subsequently it was judged by academics that he could have been of eastern European origin and was probably part of the Roman army."

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Archaeologists show off rare Roman find

Archaeologists excavating a site in East London have made an "extremely rare and unprecedented" find -- a delicately detailed dish made of hundreds of pieces of tiny glass petals, the Museum of London Docklands announced Wednesday.

The "millefiori" dish (the name means "thousand flowers") was found buried in the grave of a Roman Londoner, the museum said.

Based on the other grave goods found at the site, archaeologists believe the person buried there was wealthy, the museum said.

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Hundreds to take part in Roman dig

Hundreds of Lincolnshire residents are set to take part in an archaeology dig starting this month.

Scores of Lincolnshire folk, including schoolchildren and members of the public, will be armed with trowels for the dig at Navenby.

The group has come together following an appeal in the Echo in March.

Organiser Pre-Construct Archaeology says the 28-day excavation starting on June 15 will centre on investigating the prehistoric forerunner to Roman Ermine Street

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Excavation at Roman Binchester

On Monday June 8th excavation will begin on the Roman fort at Binchester
(Co. Durham) as part of the Durham-Stanford Binchester Research Project;
this is a joint project being run by Durham County Council, Dept. of
Archaeology/Archaeological Services, Durham University and the Dept. of
Classics, Stanford University. This work is will be kicking off the
first of five seasons of fieldwork at the site exploring the fort and
its associated vicus and putting it into its wider landscape context.

You can follow events on our blog, which
will be updated daily once excavation starts and already has some
interesting material on it.

Roman wall escapes archaeologists' trowels

MEDIEVAL recyclers may have helped themselves to parts of Gloucester's Roman wall to build their own homes. That's one of the more unusual theories to come out of an archaeological investigation in the centre of Gloucester.

Gloucestershire County Council's archaeology team was given the chance to explore an area where the Kimbrose Triangle meets Southgate Street before work begins in the summer to connect the Docks to the city centre in a more defined way.

And although they made a number of significant discoveries, they were frustrated in their search for the line of the old Roman wall. The section between Parliament Street and Ladybellegate Street is the only piece of the city's Roman wall that has not been physically accounted for.

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Arbeia Roman Fort reconstructions win archaeological award

Archaeologists based at Arbeia Roman Fort in South Shields are celebrating after being recognised for the quality and importance of their archaeological excavations.

An award for Best Archaeological Research Project was made at the Current Archaeology Awards 2009 at Cardiff Castle on March 4 after a reader’s online vote, based on previous articles about Arbeia in the magazine.

The award-winning project, entitled South Shields: Rebuilding a Roman Fort, involved the full size reconstruction of the 3rd century AD Roman Centurion’s House at Arbeia, based in detail on excavated finds of the Roman original on the same site.

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Roman bones found in farm field

A skeleton dating back to Roman times has been unearthed in a farmer's field by a member of the public.

Now it's hoped the adult bones will shed some light on what life was like 2,000 years ago.

It took archaeologists a week to carefully dig up the 2m lead coffin from inside a stone chamber.

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Classic gags discovered in ancient Roman joke book

We may admire the satires of Horace and Lucilius, but the ancient Romans haven't hitherto been thought of as masters of the one-liner. This could be about to change, however, after the discovery of a classical joke book.

Celebrated classics professor Mary Beard has brought to light a volume more than 1,600 years old, which she says shows the Romans not to be the "pompous, bridge-building toga wearers" they're often seen as, but rather a race ready to laugh at themselves.

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Big Dig back on Roman trail

THE second phase of this year's Big Dig at Brading Roman Villa will hopefully unearth new and important finds to shed light on the origins and context of the site.
The dig programme, run jointly by the Oglander Roman Trust, which manages the villa, and its support group, the Friends of Brading Roman Villa, began the five-year project last summer, headed by leading archaeologist Prof Sir Barry Cunliffe.

Sir Barry, who is also interim chairman of English Heritage, will return to lead the next phase between August 2 and 22.

As with last year's excavation, phase two will involve an excavation of the south range, about which very little was recorded during the last big dig in 1880.

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ROV investigates 2,000 year-old Roman wreck

A Saab Seaeye Falcon ROV has been used to investigate the wreck of a Roman ship outside the Spanish harbour of Cartagena. The wreck is believed to be 2,200 years old. Its cargo included thousands of amphora of wine. The clay jars were still carefully packed in the hold.

The discovery was made by explorers working for the Aurora Trust, a not-for-profit oceanographic exploration, education and archaeological organisation based in Malta.

Working with the National Centre for Underwater Archaeology of Spain, the Aurora Trust has created a map of the submerged cultural heritage on the seabed outside the harbour, and have set about targeting various items of interest.

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Experts baffled by Malmesbury's Roman coins

A hoard of Roman coins now on display in Malmesbury has perplexed staff at the Athelstan Museum.

The stash was discovered in a field in Milbourne two years ago and has now been cleaned up and given to the museum.

Chairman of the Friends of Athelstan Museum, Roger Griffin, is puzzled as to the purpose of the collection.

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County’s Roman city due to be expanded

Shropshire’s Wroxeter Roman City is to be expanded after English Heritage bosses revealed only the “tip” of the iceberg can currently be seen.

The city is the fourth largest Roman site in the UK and attracts thousands of people every year.

Viroconium - the city’s Roman title - is thought to have spread over more than 200 acres of land and had two miles of walls.

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The ideal measurements of a pre-Roman model

Pre-Roman atrium houses exhibited a striking number of similarities as part of a long Italic building tradition. Dutch researcher Noor van Krimpen analysed the measurements of primary mansions in Pompeii. As buildings were constructed according to a standard model, the adaptations to that model, required by the economical, practical and social demands of any particular project, provide a lot of information about the social significance of the houses of Pompeii's elite.

Noor van Krimpen has added a new weapon to the archaeologist's arsenal; the metrological analysis. This was already used to find out more about the design aspects of historical constructions. Van Krimpen, however, has now also used the method to add to our knowledge of the social significance of the houses of Pompeii's elite. The main advantage of using metrological analysis is that it does not require further excavations and so the remains are kept intact.

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Archaeologist joins call to save unique Roman Villa

An archaeologist at The University of Nottingham has joined the fight to protect the site of a unique Roman villa. The site, until recently buried under the old Southwell Minster School, has planning permission for 13 new homes. But experts say at least part of the land earmarked for development should be protected because of the villa remains and its special relationship with Southwell Minster, the Cathedral Church of Nottinghamshire.

The University of Nottingham is custodian of a remarkable archive of photographs and lecture slides bequeathed to the Department of Archaeology after the death of Charles Daniels who led the very first major excavation of the site in 1959 — before the Minster Grammar School was built.

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Campaign to preserve Roman villa site

HISTORIANS and archaeologists are hoping to preserve a strip of land in Southwell believed to be part of a Roman complex.

A wall was uncovered on the land last year, dating back to 43AD.

The Southwell Community Archaeology Group wants the site protected from development to conduct more studies about its history and to enable more visitors to see it.

Dr Will Bowden, associate professor in Roman archaeology at the University of Nottingham, is trying to rally public support to protect the land.

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Engendering Roman Military Spaces

The research project 'Engendering Roman Military Spaces', investigates socio-spatial behaviour inside Roman military forts during the early Empire. It uses the distribution of artefacts found in forts in the German provinces to analyse the activities carried out within the various components of these forts. It then investigates the relationships between these spaces and the members of these communities - both soldier and non-soldier - who were likely to have been engaged in these activities. In so doing it develops better understandings of the complexity of the daily life within such military establishments. It focuses particularly on evidence for women and children and on their roles within these military domains.

The project challenges widely-held assumptions: that military communities in the early empire were essentially segregated soldier communities; that only senior officers' families and household were accommodated inside and any other camp-followers lived in the civilian settlements outside the fort walls; and that a ban on legal marriage for ordinary soldiers meant that they could not have had families with whom they could have co-habited before the end of the 2nd century AD.

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