Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ceiling collapse at Nero's golden palace in Rome

Part of the ceiling over the palace of the Roman emperor Nero has collapsed in Rome, prompting fresh concerns over the stability of the ancient complex.

The damaged section at the Domus Aurea (House of Gold) complex was about 60 sq m (645 sq ft), officials say. No-one was injured.

Art official Antonello Vodret said it was one of the biggest collapses at the monument in the past 50 years.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

University students to live like ancient Roman gladiators

Twenty students from the University of Regensburg plan to live and train in the style of Roman gladiators from 79 AD and stage a battle for scientific research this summer, the project's Bavarian organisers said on Monday.

“We know hardly anything about the gladiators,” historian Josef Löffl said. “There are a lot of myths and clichés attached.”

Löffl and his colleagues plan to find out this August whether they can make modern young men into authentic gladiators following the Roman example.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Environment honour for Birdoswald Roman fort team

Birdoswald Roman Fort on Hadrian’s Wall in Cumbria has picked up another accolade for environmental excellence.

It is returning to traditional ploughing methods to create a wildflower meadow for visitors. The site was given a silver award from the Cumbria Business Environmental Network for its continuing commitment to ‘green’ management which has put energy saving, recycling, composting and supporting wildlife at the top of the agenda at the English Heritage property.

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Fall and Rise of the Roman World c. 200-700 CE

CFP: Fall and Rise of the Roman World c. 200-700 CE, XIX Finnish Symposium on Late Antiquity, Tvärminne, Finland, 15-16 October, 2010

The XIX Finnish Symposium on Late Antiquity will be organized on October 15-16, 2010. The aim of the symposium is to bring together students and scholars with an interest in Late Antiquity from a variety of universities and disciplines. This year, we explore the aspects of depression, recovery and renaissance related to the every-day life, but suggestions for papers dealing with other topics will also be considered. Our main aim is to stimulate interdisciplinary dialogue between philology, archaeology, history, theology and other disciplines that deal with Late Antiquity. Geographically, the focus of the symposium is on the Mediterranean world.

This year's symposium features three invited speakers : Chris Wickham (Oxford): Rural realities: Spain and Sicily aound 600 ; Leslie Brubaker (Birmingham): Embedding sacred images in everyday life: representation and transformation of culture in Byzantium; Kate Cooper (Manchester): The transformation of the Roman Household at the end of antiquity.

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2,000-year-old Roman artefact goes on show

A RARE Roman cup found by a metal detector in Winterton is heading for display at the North Lincolnshire Museum.

The cup is thought to be a rare example of a soldier's souvenir from Hadrian's Wall.
The treasure, which is up to 2000 years old, is made from copper alloy, and decorated with rows of enamelled squares.

A North Lincolnshire Museum spokesperson said: "The Winterton Cup is a Roman copper alloy cup with the base missing, much of the enamel has not survived but there is enough there to show that the same four colours are repeated throughout the design.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Odenwaldlimes-Kolloquium mit ca. 400 Teilnehmern

Vom 19. bis 20. März fanden in Michelstadt im Odenwald ein wissenschaftliches Kolloquium und eine Exkursion zu den neuesten Forschungsergebnissen des Hinteren Odenwaldlimes statt. Veranstaltet wurde das Kolloquium, das mit ca. 400 Teilnehmern eine große Resonanz fand, von der Interessengemeinschaft Odenwald e. V. (IGO) und der Hessischen Landesarchäologie.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Lava bread, anyone? Pompeii snack bar rises from ashes after 2,000 years

Roman thermopolium destroyed by Mount Vesuvius in AD79 has been restored

THE LAST patrons who stood at the L-shaped counter of Pompeii's best-known snack bar eating the house-speciality – baked cheese smothered in honey – had to leave in a hurry owing to violent volcanic activity. But after an unforeseen break in business of 1,921 years, the former holiday hotspot of ancient Rome's in-crowd will finally re-open for business this weekend.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Professor Geoffrey Rickman: head of Roman history at the University of St Andrews

Professor Geoffrey Rickman was a man of integrity whose scholarship was never advertised. He was devoted to the study of ancient history and especially Rome: appropriately he was known at St Andrews University, where he taught for more than 35 years, as “the father of ancient history”. He was an inspiring teacher and a charismatic lecturer who was respected and much admired by generations of students. He built up, by his own sheer enthusiasm and commitment, the Department of Ancient History to one of international repute. His qualities of wisdom and incisiveness were widely recognised in the university community where he held various important posts. As Master of the United College in the 1990s, for example, he oversaw the introduction of the modular system. For five years after his retirement Rickman was an inspiring chairman of the council of the British School in Rome. It was an institution to which, like St Andrews, he was devoted.

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Antiquities not just another brick in wall

Our parents had taken us to Pompeii, the Roman town frozen in the moment it was buried in lava on August 24, 79AD. It was 34 years ago, on a bright winter's day, and we wandered the streets, peering in shops and tiny houses, and envisaged life before Vesuvius struck.

Visitor access was almost unfettered: few guards, no security cameras. We were respectful, even as young teenagers, but we spied an American tourist who was not. I have never forgotten watching transfixed as he used his pocket knife to prise a handful of tiny, coloured tiles from the wall and trouser them, a souvenir of one of the world's most wondrous archaeological sites.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Illegal metal detecting crackdown

Archaeologists are to team up with police in a bid to crack down on illegal metal detecting in Norfolk.

Norfolk has the highest number of recovered artefacts in the country declared treasure and a successful long-established working relationship with legitimate metal- detecting enthusiasts.

There were 109 cases of items found in Norfolk being declared treasure in 2008-09. Recent finds include a hoard of 24 Henry III short-cross pennies in Breckland, and an early Saxon gold spangle from south Norfolk.

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Flaming torches light up Britain's Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall, a Roman-era fortification spanning the width of northern England, was lit up from end-to-end by volunteers carrying flaming torches.

As night fell, 500 gas flames were lit at 250-metre intervals for 84 miles (135 kilometres) from Wallsend in northeast England to Bowness-on-Solway in the northwest.

This created a coast-to-coast line of light along the route of a path which runs next to the wall.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Warmington's buried treasure may reveal what the Romans did for us

Historians investigating a hoard of Roman coins unearthed in south Warwickshire are hoping to ensure they remain in the county - and to solve the mystery of who buried them.

The cache of 1,146 silver denarii dating from 209 BC to 64AD - the largest in the county - was found by metal detector enthusiast Keith Bennett and declared treasure trove last year.

The coins themselves shed light on the brutal and often corrupt machinations of the Roman Empire, but Warmington Heritage Group is trying to find out why they were buried and what they reveal about life in the area in the first century AD.

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People's army takes over Hadrian's wall in light spectacular

An army that would have astonished the emperor Hadrian is set to take over his Roman wall tomorrow night, lighting a chain of beacons from the Tyne to the Solway Firth.

Thousands have been recruited for what will be an 84-mile variation on Antony Gormley's invitation to the people of the UK to occupy the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square – a brief but spectacular moment of public art.

Designed to highlight Britain's biggest ancient monument and bring an early spring to the northern tourist economy, the event will feature scenes that would have earned an instant court martial in Hadrian's day.

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Römische Strasse im Kanton Zürich kann nun über 3 km verfolgt werden

Im Herbst 2009 konnte die von Oberwinterthur (Vitudurum) nach Pfyn (Ad Fines) im Kanton Zürich führende römische Strasse gleich an zwei Stellen gefasst werden. Der eine Fundpunkt liegt in Rickenbach, die andere Fundstelle rund 800 m südwestlich davon in Wiesendangen.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

University of Oxford Online Courses in Archaeology

Exploring Roman Britain (starts April 2010)

Origins of Human Behaviour (starts April 2010)

Pompeii and the Cities of the Roman World (starts May 2010)

Ritual and Religion in Prehistory (starts April 2010)

Vikings: Raiders, Traders and Settlers (starts May 2010)

Click on the course title for further details.

County’s Roman site to feature on TV

TV crews are set to descend on a historic Shropshire Roman city for a new documentary to be viewed by millions.

A planning application is expected to be rushed through Shropshire Council next week for the construction of a replica Roman villa at Wroxeter, near Shrewsbury, at a site near the old barns.

Roger Pittaway, clerk of Wroxeter and Uppington Parish Council, said the project, which will use authentic materials, was discussed at a meeting this week.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Citizenship and History news: Africans in Roman York?

Citizenship and History-related news: forensic tests on a 4th century corpse found in a stone coffin in York more than 100 years ago have revealed North African socialites may have been high-flyers in multi-cultural Roman Britain.

Archaeologists used isotope analysis to scrutinize the skull, facial features and food and drink traces left in the body of The Ivory Bangle Lady, a skeleton discovered in a grave full of exotic bracelets, earrings and jewellery on the city’s Sycamore Terrace in 1901.

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Archaeologists discover secrets of Canterbury's past

SECRETS of the city have been revealed by archaeologists working on the Beaney Institute in Canterbury.

A team from Canterbury Archaeological Trust are uncovering the city's history before the museum in the High Street is extended and developed.

The excavations have revealed the heart of Roman Canterbury, including a street and buildings, as well as pottery, ceramic lamps and a set of 18th century tankards from a pilgrims' inn that stood on the site.

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Council demands Roman remains probe on Silloth former factory site

Planners have called for a Silloth site earmarked for a major development of 270 houses to be explored for Roman remains.

Cumbria County Council is demanding an archaeologist’s report into the former Fisons factory site.

Outline plans were submitted to Allerdale council earlier this year by Fairhurst, acting for developers Harvest Park Developments. The proposals could see terraced, semi-detached, detached and town houses built on the 22-acre plot.

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Northern lights

Next weekend will see the spectacular illumination of the 84 miles of Hadrian’s Wall.

A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME event will take place next Saturday when the 84-mile long Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail will be illuminated.

There will be about 500 individual points of light, placed at 250 metre intervals. The first one will be illuminated at Wallsend, with the line of light then making its way along the wall to Bowness-on-Solway, in Cumbria, over the following hour.

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Roman chariot racing track target reached

A fundraising campaign set up to help safeguard the future of Britain's last remaining Roman chariot horse racing track, near Colchester, Essex, has reached its target of £200,000.

Colchester Borough Council pledged £30,000 towards the appeal after it reached £170,000 in order to ensure the target was reached in time for an extended deadline of 28 February.

The fundraising campaign was led by local volunteers and were backed by the Colchester Archaeological Trust (CAT), while more than 2,300 people have also supported the bid on social networking website Facebook.

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Exciting find for museum bosses

A ROMAN quern stone discovered near Chaigley has sparked excitement in archaeological circles.

The stone was taken into Ribchester Roman Museum's 'Finds Day' on Saturday by a local woman and Curator Patrick Tostevin says it was definitely "the highlight of the day."

"It is the sort of object that would suggest there might be some sort of hitherto undiscovered Roman settlement in the area," said Patrick. "It was an absolutely wonderful day and I was delighted with the response we had. A steady stream of people brought in a variety of different objects from coins to Chinese terracotta.

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Archaeologists survey Roman road

The history of the road, which runs from Winchester to Chichester, is to be investigated and people are invited to get involved in a field visit.

People wanting to get a closer look at the ancient road should attend a workshop on Saturday March 20, held at the Milburys Pub in Beauworth, Hampshire.

The meeting starts at 11am with lunch at the pub. A field visit will follow in the afternoon.

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