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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