Thursday, September 30, 2010

Archaeologists believe they've found the sacred cave where, according to legend, a she-wolf suckled Romulus and Remus, the twin founders of Rome.

Watch the video...

Success in Roman helmet appeal

A magnanimous philanthropist has anonymously donated £50,000 to help galvanise the fundraising campaign to buy the rare Crosby Garrett Roman Cavalry Helmet, but time is running out.

The recently-discovered Crosby Garrett Roman Calvary Parade Helmet. (C) Christie's Images Ltd, 2010In a show of generosity the businessman has donated the funds on one condition, that the public match his donation pound for pound.

Carlisle's Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery is calling on those interested in Roman heritage to help trigger the benefactor's double-your-money offer with a Give a Quid to the Bid campaign as it races to raise the funds for the auction on 7 October 2010.

Read the rest of this article...

Ancient sanctuary dedicated to Mithras discovered in France

Archaeologists excavating at Angers, France, have discovered the remains of a temple dedicated to the Indo-Iranian god Mithras. The small, rectangular chapel, in which worshippers gathered for banquets and sacrifices dedicated to the god, is dated to the third century AD.

At the sanctuary, a typical bas-relief of the god Mithras wearing his Phrygian cap shows him slaughtering a bull – the so-called tauroctony. The depiction of the god was intentionally damaged in ancient times, possibly by early Christians trying to suppress the pagan cult.

Among the artefacts discovered are oil lamps, fragments of a chandelier containing Nubian terracotta figures, a bronze 4th century crucifix fibula and about 200 coins. Large quantities of cockerel bones (a favoured dish at the cultic banquets) were found inside and around the ancient temple.

Read the rest of this article...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Roman circus uncovered at Outlane

Local archaeologists have discovered Huddersfield’s long-lost circus or sporting arena, built by the Romans in the village of Outlane nearly 2,000 years ago.

And they believe crowds of up to 2,000 would pack into the amphitheatre to watch horsemanship displays by the Roman cavalry.

The soldiers were based at the Slack Roman fort, built to protect the military road from Chester to York.

Read the rest of this article...

Cambridge dig looking for Anglo-Saxon skeletons finds Roman settlement

A dig in search of Anglo-Saxon skeletons has instead unearthed signs of a sprawling Roman settlement. The discovery was made last week, on the grounds of Cambridge's Newnham College.

Evidence of a 16th or 17th century farmhouse that could date back to the reign of Henry VIII was unearthed at the site as well.

"We knew there was a Roman settlement here before but we had no idea of the size," said Dr Catherine Hills.

Read the rest of this article...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Online Courses in Archaeology with the University of Oxford

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.

View the courses available this term...

After dark tours at Rome's ancient baths

New night tours of Rome's spectacular Baths of Caracalla offer a rare chance to see the ancient ruins at their best, without the heat and the crowds

Few visitors to Rome get to see the Baths of Caracalla, the ruins of the third-century leisure complex that could hold up to 1,500 bathers. Even fewer visitors get to see them at night.

Which is a shame, because there may be no better time to see Rome's ruins, the baths included, than when the crowds have gone, the air is cool, and the silence that comes with abandonment – a silence that has accompanied the structures for most of their existence – returns.

Read the rest of this article...

Bulgarian Archaeologists Unearth Ancient Roman Highway, Fortress

A team of archaeologists from the Bulgarian National History Museum has uncovered a highway dating back to the zenith of the Roman Empire.

The archaeologists led by Dr. Ivan Hristov have been excavating the fortress of Sostra, an Ancient Roman horse-changing station along the highway in question, since the beginning of September.

It is located near the village of Lomets, close to the town of Troyan in the Stara Planina mountain.

Read the rest of this article...

Romanians seek halt to Canadian gold mine project

Opponents of a Canadian gold mine project in a Romanian village on Saturday called on the Romanian culture ministry to save a threatened ancient site in the area.

"The universal value of the Rosia Montana site and especially of the Roman mining tunnels of the Carnic mountains has been acknowledged by numerous specialists around the world," local NGO Alburnus Maior said.

"Issuing an archaeological discharge certificate would lead to the destruction of the site and would seriously alter this cultural heritage," the NGO added.

Read the rest of this article...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Shattered Marble Map Mystifies Puzzlers

Think that 800-piece clown puzzle in your basement might be missing a few pieces? You’ve got nothing on this ancient mystery, as Jane Doh describes.

An unintentional jigsaw puzzle made of marble, over two millennia old, and missing most of its pieces has defied scholars and puzzle-solvers for centuries. Measuring 60 x 43 feet and carved in the 3rd century CE, the Severan Marble Plan of Rome captured the groundplan of Roman architecture in minute detail, even down to staircases, but only 10 to 15 percent of the intricately carved map has been found. Excavations for Rome’s new subway line this year may soon unearth further pieces to the puzzle, according to an article from Discovery News.

Roughly on a scale of 1:240, the Severan Marble Plan consisted of 150 slabs mounted on what was once the interior wall of the Temple of Peace (now the exterior wall of the Church of Saints Cosmas and Damian). During the Middle Ages, the Plan was slowly destroyed, parts of it ground up and repurposed into building materials, pieces broken and re-broken over centuries. Some pieces just fell to the base of the wall and were buried by time. The holes where the slabs were once anchored to the wall are still visible.

Read the rest of this article...

Caerleon dig sheds light on time when Romans left

ONE of the most significant archaeological digs ever to take place in Caerleon is expected to shed new light on what happened in the area during and immediately after the Roman occupation.

A team of 50 archaeologists from Cardiff University and University College London yesterday finished a six-week dig at the CADW-owned Priory Field.

During that time, they uncovered a set of Roman body armour - one of only four such discoveries ever in Britain.

Read the rest of this article...

Carlisle museum raises £20,000 in four days to buy Crosby Garrett Roman helmet

Attempts to raise enough money to keep a unique Roman artefact in Cumbria have already drawn in more than £20,000.

Tullie House has launched an appeal to raise £80,000 to keep a beautifully preserved Roman cavalry parade helmet found by a metal detectorist in a field near Crosby Garrett in its new Roman gallery.

And by yesterday, just four days into the appeal, the campaign had already raised about £24,000 in its opening four days.

Read the rest of this article...

Roman week in St Albans

SCHOOLCHILDREN from across the district will be exploring everyday life in Roman times at St Albans Abbey next week.

The cathedral has arranged a Roman festival, with a packed four-day programme of events which have been rapidly booked up by local schools.

The events include drama and hands on activities such as cooking Roman dishes and handling genuine 2,000 - year-old archaeological finds.

Read the rest of this article...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Appeal to save rare Roman helmet unearthed in Cumbria

An appeal to keep a rare Roman bronze helmet in Cumbria has so far raised about £20,000, museum officials said.

The helmet, complete with face mask, was found by a metal detector enthusiast in Crosby Garrett, near Kirkby Stephen, in May.

It is expected to fetch more than £300,000 when it comes up for auction at Christie's in London next month.

Read the rest of this article...

Roman Helmet Appeal

A Roman helmet of national significance, found in Crosby Garrett, North Cumbria, will be auctioned on 7th October.

Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle, Cumbria, has launched an urgent public and corporate appeal to help to secure this exceptionally rare Roman Cavalry Parade Helmet, dating from the end of the 1st to mid 3rd century AD, as a centrepiece for its new £1.5m Roman Frontier: stories beyond Hadrian’s Wall gallery, due to open summer 2011.

The helmet was found by a metal detector user earlier this year and was reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme, a voluntary scheme that records archaeological objects found by members of the public in England and Wales.

Read the rest of this article...

New finds suggest Romans won big North Germany battle

New finds at a well-preserved ancient battlefield in the north of Germany are not only rewriting geo-political history, but also revealing some of the secrets of Rome's military success.

Until only two years ago, northern Germany was believed to have been a no-go area for Roman troops after three legions were wiped out by German tribesmen in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in AD 9.

The revelation that two centuries later a Roman force mounted a punitive raid deep inside the tribal areas in AD 235 has changed all that, suggesting that a soldier-emperor, Maximinus Thrax, seriously attempted to subjugate the north of Germany.

Read the rest of this article...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hadrian's Wall child murder: estimated time of death pre-367AD

The murderous reputation of one of Britain's best-known Roman towns has been raised by the discovery of a child's hastily buried skeleton under a barrack room floor.

Archaeologists at Vindolanda fort near Hadrian's Wall are preparing for a repeat of a celebrated coroner's inquest in the 1930s that concluded two other corpses unearthed near the site were "victims of murder by persons unknown shortly before 367AD".

The latest discovery at the frontier settlement in Northumberland is thought to be the remains of a girl aged between eight and 10 who may have been tied up before she died.

Read the rest of this article...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Roman cavalry helmet found with metal detector may go abroad at auction

A stunning Roman cavalry helmet, made to awe the spectators in a procession of wealth and power rather than for practical use in combat, has been found by a metal detector user near the village of Crosby Garrett in Cumbria.

However, the artefact is not certain to end up in a local museum as single items of bronze are not covered by the Treasure Act.

Instead the helmet, the best found in Britain in more than a century, is likely to make its finder rich at auction, with a guide price at Christie's of £300,000.

Read the rest of this article...

Rare Roman suit of armour found at Caerleon dig

Archaeologists digging at a site in south Wales have uncovered an entire suit of Roman armour and some weapons.

The rare discovery was made during an excavation at the fortress of Caerleon in south Wales, one of Britain's best known Roman sites.

Dig leader Dr Peter Guest of Cardiff University said the suit was only the third or fourth to be found in the UK, and the first in Wales.

Read the rest of this article...

Friday, September 3, 2010

West Cumbrian trust steps in to save Roman Maryport

THE Senhouse Roman Museum Trust is considering a £300,000 investment to save Roman Maryport.

The announcement comes after news that the £11 million Roman visitor centre, due to be completed next year, will now be put back until at least 2014.

Hadrian’s Wall Heritage Ltd is still confident that it will obtain the funding despite being told by the Northwest Development Agency that there was no money in the kitty.

Read the rest of this article...

First Roman watermill discovered in West Cumbria

THE first Roman watermill to be discovered in Cumbria has been unearthed in an archaeological dig on the edge of Cockermouth.

The discovery, behind the Lakes Homecentre, signals that the River Derwent, on the banks of which it stood, was an important part of Romano-British life in Cockermouth.

The watermill, thought to date back to the first or second century, is the last and most exciting find of the project led by Grampus Heritage and Training, which finishes today.

Read the rest of this article...

Rare Roman lantern found in farmer's field

An intact Roman lantern made of bronze, believed by experts to be the only one of its kind in Britain, has been unearthed in a field by a metal-detecting enthusiast.

The unique artefact which dates from between the 1st and 3rd century AD was discovered by 21-year-old Danny Mills at a detecting rally near Sudbury, Suffolk.

Mills reported the find to local archaeologists and the landowner later donated it to the regional museum.

Read the rest of this article...