Sunday, January 31, 2010

Oldest Roman coin in Britain discovered on museum shelf

The oldest Roman coin in Britain has been discovered after sitting on a shelf for a decade.

The silver denarius Roman Republic coin dating from 211BC was found during an excavation in 2000 at Hallaton, Leics.

But the coin sat in storage at a Leicester museum with 5000 other coins found at the dig, waiting to be dated by experts.

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The Roman Army Knife: Or how the ingenuity of the Swiss was beaten by 1,800 years

The world's first Swiss Army knife' has been revealed - made 1,800 years before its modern counterpart.

An intricately designed Roman implement, which dates back to 200AD, it is made from silver but has an iron blade.

It features a spoon, fork as well as a retractable spike, spatula and small tooth-pick.

Experts believe the spike may have been used by the Romans to extract meat from snails.

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Silver coin dating to 211 BC is oldest piece of Roman money ever found in Britain

A 2,221-year-old silver coin dug up as part of a hoard is the oldest piece of Roman money ever found in Britain.

Dating from 211 BC and found near the Leicestershire village of Hallaton, the coin was uncovered with 5,000 other coins, a helmet and a decorated bowl.

Unearthed in 2000 by a metal detectorist, staff at the nearby Harborough Museum have only just realised its significance.

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Stanford Students Dig Into Archeological Site

This summer, in the far reaches of Northern England, an international excavation team gathered at the small town of Binchester, just south of Hadrian’s Wall. Shovels and pickaxes in hand, the group, consisting primarily of students from Stanford and Durham University UK, broke the surface soil on new trenches at one of the UK’s most significant archaeological sites.

The site, which has been the focus of archaeological interest for over a hundred years, posed fresh challenges for the team, whose objective was to explore the lifestyles and population of the Roman fort and town at Binchester. This summer’s dig focused on unearthing the Roman barracks at the corner of the fort.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Secrets of Roman aqueduct lie in chapel, say UK film-makers

Source for emperor Trajan's Aqua Traiana arose from aquifer at site used to worship water spirits, say O'Neill brothers

For almost four centuries scholars have sought the headwaters of the Aqua ­Traiana, a stone channel which carried spring water down to Rome from near Lake Bracciano. Now, two British film-makers say they have beaten the archaeologists in discovering the source of the water feeding the ancient city's greatest aqueducts.

While researching films on Roman aqueducts, Mike and Ted O'Neill got access last year to a series of reservoirs and tunnels below a long-abandoned medieval chapel near the town of Bracciano.

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Two thousand year old Roman aqueduct discovered

A pair of British amateur archaeologists believe they have found the hidden source of a Roman aqueduct 1,900 years after it was inaugurated by the Emperor Trajan.

The underground spring lies behind a concealed door beneath an abandoned 13th century church on the shores of Lake Bracciano, 35 miles north of Rome.

Exploration of the site has shown that water percolating through volcanic bedrock was collected in underground grottoes and chambers and fed into a subterranean aqueduct, the Aqua Traiana, which took it all the way to the imperial capital.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

National lottery backing for Roman Maryport project

A £3.74 million lottery bid to transform part of west Cumbria into a globally-recognised heritage site has secured an initial stamp of approval.

The first round pass for the Roman Maryport project means funding is more than likely to be won, enabling Maryport to secure a real presence on the Hadrian’s Wall tourism route.

The bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund is part of an £11m project to turn a historic part of the town into a major tourism attraction and museum. It centres on Camp Farm at Maryport, the site of a Roman fort and the largest intact civil settlement – which would have been home to more than 500 people – on Hadrian’s Wall.

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Roman building in Chester raises heritage skills awareness for college students

CONSTRUCTION students experienced Roman building techniques when they visited two key sites in Chester as part of a drive to raise awareness of heritage skills.

Ten students from West Cheshire College were shown the Amphitheatre and the site of a city walls collapse.

The students saw first hand just how traditional skills should be applied in historic environments.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Wreck of Roman ship Asterix could return to Guernsey

A 1,700 year-old ship wreck could be returned to Guernsey if funding can be found, after undergoing preservation work since it was raised in 1985.

The Asterix was found by local diver Richard Keen in St Peter Port harbour in 1982, where it had lay since 280.

The timbers were taken to the Mary Rose Trust in Portsmouth for immersion in wax and freeze drying.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Ancient Roam

A priceless ancient Roman statue has been discovered being used to decorate a flower bed in a housing estate.

The headless sculpture of an emperor is believed to have been stolen some time in the 1930s and then used during the construction of a posh private square in Naples, Italy.

It is thought to date back to the 2nd century BC and may once have stood in the grand gardens of a local palace.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

First victory in battle to save Roman circus

THE Gazette has helped secure a major victory just three days after joining the campaign to save Colchester’s Roman circus.

Developer Taylor Wimpey has agreed a month’s extension to the deadline to find £750,000 to create a heritage centre on the site of the ancient arena’s starting gates.

Bosses have also pledged £10,000 towards the cause.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Archaeological excavation in Verulamium Park postponed

AN archaeological excavation planned for Verulamium Park has been postponed because of bad weather.

The dig was supposed to start on January 4 before a planning application to develop a leisure centre on the site of existing Westminster Lodge is submitted to St Albans District Council.

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Terry takes on Wimpey over Roman site

Francis Terry is backing plans to take the fate of a site containing Britain’s largest Roman building remains out of the hands of housebuilder Taylor Wimpey.

The locally based, classical architect has come up with an alternative ‘grand vision’ for the former garrison in Colchester in support of a campaign led by concerned local archaeologists.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Work starts soon on Roman gallery at Carlisle museum

Work on a new Roman gallery at Carlisle’s Tullie House Museum should start at the end of this month.

Displays in the Millennium Gallery under Castle Way will be dismantled to make way for an exhibition on life in Carlisle 2,000 years ago.

It is due to open in spring 2011 and will, the city council hopes, attract 50,000 extra visitors a year to Tullie House.

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