Monday, December 19, 2011

Hull museum's Roman mosaics gets specialist makeover

CLEANING floor tiles can be a pretty mundane household chore.

But when they happen to be part of a stunning collection of Roman mosaics, the job takes on a whole new meaning.

Museum staff in Hull have just finished a specialist makeover of their priceless exhibits in the Hull And East Riding Museum, in High Street.

Paula Gentil, the museum's curator of archaeology, said the careful clean-up was long overdue.

Read the rest of this article...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

University of Oxford Online Archaeology Courses

Enrolment is now open for the following University of Oxford online courses in archaeology:
Archaeology of the Bible Lands (Online)
Exploring Roman Britain (Online)
Greek Mythology (Online)
Origins of Human Behaviour (Online)
Ritual and Religion in Prehistory (Online)
Vikings: Raiders, Traders and Settlers (Online)

Roman circus site may open next summer

THE place where charioteers started and finished their races at Colchester’s Roman circus could be open to the public by next summer.

Colchester Archaeological Trust has been given planning permission for a project which will allow visitors to look at the foundations of the circus’s starting gates and watch re-enactments of scenes last seen almost two millennia ago.

The trust has permission to redevelop the Army Education Centre, near the starting gates, and hopes to move into the former Garrison building in February.

Read the rest of this article...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Roman Cockerel found in Gloucestershire archaeological dig

THIS intricately decorated Roman cockerel has been discovered at a landmark burial site in Cirencester.

Archaeologists have uncovered the striking bird figurine, which could be an offering to the gods, from a young child's grave during excavations for St James's Place Wealth Management at the former Bridges Garage site.

Cotswold Archaeology chief executive Neil Holbrook said: "The cockerel is the most spectacular find from more than 60 Roman burials excavated at this site." It is the latest treasure to be found at the important plot, which has already yielded more than 60 skeletons and is believed to be one of the earliest burial sites ever found in Roman Britain.

Read the rest of this article...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

London built with the blood of British slaves

The Romans founded London as a centre of trade and business in about AD 50 - or so archaeologists have long believed.

But new evidence suggests the capital has a more chilling history, built as a military base by slaves who were then slaughtered. Hundreds of skulls discovered along the course of the "lost" river Walbrook suggest London may have been built by forced labour.

Dominic Perring, director of the Centre for Applied Archaeology at University College London, says the skulls could be those of Queen Boudica's rebel Iceni tribesmen who were brought to London to build a new military base.

Read the rest of this article...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Bronze coins found in Somerset reveal Roman age of austerity

Archaeologists are celebrating the donation of a hoard of Roman coins – described as “ a hugely significant find” – to the new Museum of Somerset.

The 2,118 bronze coins, found by archaeologists excavating a site at Maundown, near Wiveliscombe, before Wessex Water built a new water treatment plant, may be evidence of financial crisis in Romano-British Somerset.

They were found in 2006 and have been donated to Somerset County Council by Wessex Water after a Treasure Inquest at Taunton last week heard that the British Museum disclaimed interest on behalf of the Crown.

Read the rest of this article...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

An intimate look at ancient Rome

When you visit sites of ancient Roman civilization, it's hard to know where to look first: Temples, markets, brothels and baths all draw the eye and the imagination. But if you really want to know what it was like to live in ancient Rome, you may want to consider the humble toilet.

On a recent trip to Italy, I went in search of ancient toilets at archaeological sites people usually visit for their temples, markets, brothels and baths. Apart from the fun factor -- and that factor is high when it comes to learning about the sponge-tipped sticks some Romans used as toilet paper -- toilets give a sense of ancient Roman daily life. From the lavish, marble-seated group toilet of Ostia Antica to the humble below-the-stairs john at Herculaneum, the places where Romans conducted their daily, er, business are worth a closer look.

Read the rest of this article...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Roman murder most foul

Three incomplete skeletons have been uncovered in Modena, Italy, and point to a 2000 year old Roman mystery which is being investigated by archaeologists and researchers from the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of the Emilia-Romagna.

The discovery was made at the site of a new development to the east of Modena along the Via Emilia, between San Lazzaro and Fossalta. At a depth of only 60cm the archaeologists from ArcheoModena found the remains of a cremation necropolis and a 1st century Roman irrigation ditch/canal. The necropolis, which ran along the ancient Via Emilia, produced a few cremation burials and the remains of a shrine that had been robbed out in antiquity.

Read the rest of this article...

UNESCO unveils deal to help restore damaged Pompeii

The United Nations cultural agency and Italy announced today that they have agreed to work together to restore Pompeii, which was badly damaged by torrential rains late last year.

In a statement issued in Paris, UNESCO said it would collaborate with Italian authorities over the next nine months on the restoration.

Several key buildings, including the Schola Armaturarum (Gladiators’ House) and the House of the Moralist, collapsed in November 2010, sparking international concern about the state of the site. (read report here)

Read the rest of this article...

Italy: Colosseum work pits restorers against building firms

Rome, 1 Dec. (AKI) - The artisans that restore Italy's vast art and archeological sites say they are excluded from the project to give the Roman Colosseum a 25 million-euro face-lift and called on the government to stop all work or risk causing "irreparable damage'' to the 2,000 year old amphitheatre.

According to the Rome-based Restorers Association of Italy trade group, a government official charged with overseeing work on Rome's archeological sites two years ago changed contract bidding rules largely squeezing out art and archeology restoration firms in favour of large building contracting companies with far less knowledge on repairing the country's fragile historical heritage. .

In an open letter to Italy's new culture minister Lorenzo Oraghi published Thursday, the restorers group called on him to stop the bidding or "to avoid irreparable damage to the Italy's most celebrated monument with consequences of causing damage to Italy's image."
Read the rest of this article...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Alderney ruin found to be Roman fort

An overgrown site on Alderney has been found to be one of the best-preserved Roman military structures in the world.

Island tradition had long suggested the site, known as the Nunnery, dated back to Roman times, although excavations since the 1930s had always proved inconclusive.

A joint project between Guernsey Museums and the Alderney Society was set up in 2008 to find the answers.

Over four August bank holiday weekends, a team of a dozen volunteers undertook various excavations to determine the history of the site.

Read the rest of this article...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Temple of Mithras prepares for facelift

Plans to dismantle and move the reconstructed Roman Temple of Mithras to temporary storage, ahead of a more faithful reconstruction, will begin on the 21 November 2011 by Museum of London Archaeology.

The temple, which is located at Walbrook Square, was discovered by chance in 1952 by archaeologist WF Grimes as the site was being prepared for redevelopment. On the last day of excavation, 18 September 1954, the marble head of the god of Mithras was unearthed. Several more amazing artefacts, including several sculptures, were later found - these are now on display in the Museum of London’s Roman gallery.

The temple was dismantled at that time and the Roman building material put into storage. In 1962, the temple was reconstructed on a podium adjacent to Queen Victoria Street, 90 metres from its original site, nine metres above its original level and set in modern cement mortar.

Read the rest of this article...

When Roman empire was ruled from South Shields

THE moment in history when the entire Roman Empire may have been ruled from a Tyneside town will be relived today.

Finds from digs at Arbeia Roman fort in South Shields have offered convincing evidence that the Emperor Severus and his sons Caracalla and Geta were at the base as they prepared for a campaign into Scotland.

Because the imperial family and court were present, that would have effectively meant that the empire would have been governed from South Shields.

Read the rest of this article...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cirencester Roman dig is 'history changing'

Excavations in Cirencester have unearthed one of the earliest burial sites ever found in Roman Britain.

The dig at the former Bridges Garage on Tetbury Road has uncovered over 40 burials and four cremations.
Experts say it is the largest archaeological find in the town since the 1970s.

Neil Holbrook, chief executive at Cotswold Archaeology, said he could not "underestimate the potential significance" of the discovery.

Read the rest of this article...

Monday, November 14, 2011

1,800-year-old Roman well unveiled in Bingham

AN 1,800-year-old Roman well was today being unveiled to the public.

The well, which dates back to about 160AD, was found in 2009 by a group of archeologists.

But it was in the route of the A46 road-widening scheme, and had to be dug up and moved stone by stone.

From today it will be available for public viewing at the Bingham Cemetery, in The Banks, a few miles from where it was found.

Pete Allen, chairman of community group The Bingham Heritage Trail Association, which campaigned for the well's restoration, said: "It is a piece of history that deserves to be kept for the enjoyment of the public."

Read the rest of this article...

Roman treasure displayed to public

THE largest hoard of early Roman coins found in the West Midlands are on display at Banbury Museum.

More than 1,000 silver denarii were found in a small pot at Edgehill in 2008 and went on show yesterday (Wednesday) in an exhibition running until December 10.

Cllr James Macnamara, Cherwell District Council’s lead member for the environment, said: “We’ll never know why someone decided to hide these coins. This was a tidy sum of money in the First Century – equal to a year’s pay for five Roman soldiers.

“Whether the people that buried the coins intended to come back for them or not, they remained in a pot underground for nearly 2,000 years.”

Read the rest of this article...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Who were the 99% of ancient Rome?

From Gibbon to "Gladiator," it might seem like we know a lot about Ancient Rome, but our view of this civilization is a skewed one. The Romans lived in one of the most stratified societies in history. Around 1.5% of the population controlled the government, military, economy and religion. Through the writings and possessions they left behind, these rich, upper-class men are also responsible for most of our information about Roman life.

The remaining people – commoners, slaves and others – are largely silent. They could not afford tombstones to record their names, and they were buried with little in the way of fancy pottery or jewellery. Their lives were documented by the elites, but they left few documents of their own.

Now, Kristina Killgrove, an archaeologist from Vanderbilt University, wants to tell their story by sequencing their DNA, and she is raising donations to do it. “Their DNA will tell me where these people, who aren’t in histories, were coming from,” she says. “They were quite literally the 99% of Rome.”

Read the rest of this article...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Did the Romans leave London because of the miserable British weather?

Forensic tests on skeletons show settlers suffered from malnourishment and poor health due to lack of sunlight

Researchers at the Museum Of London are carrying out forensic tests on some of their 22,000 carefully-preserved skeletons of Londoners through the ages.

Lead scientist Dr Jelena Bekvalac said her team is focusing on the declining health of settlers during the 400 years of the Roman occupation.

She told the Times: 'You'd think in civilised Roman society, there would be buffers to aid you, but the climate is still going to have an effect and we see some signs of that.

Read the rest of this article...

Bredon Hill hoard among county finds at Worcester event

THE Bredon Hill coin hoard will be among other archaeological discoveries discussed at a special event at the University of Worcester's St John's campus this Saturday (12).

Worcestershire Historic Environment and Archaeology is holding an event to showcase the latest archaeological discoveries from Worcestershire, from 9.45am to 5.30pm.

A highlight of the day will be a presentation on the discovery and significance of the Bredon Hill Roman coin hoard which is currently on display at Worcester City Museum and Art Gallery.

Read the rest of this article...

UA scientists find evidence of Roman period megadrought

A new study at the University of Arizona's Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research has revealed a previously unknown multi-decade drought period in the second century A.D.

Almost nine hundred years ago, in the mid-12th century, the southwestern U.S. was in the middle of a multi-decade megadrought. It was the most recent extended period of severe drought known for this region. But it was not the first.

The second century A.D. saw an extended dry period of more than 100 years characterized by a multi-decade drought lasting nearly 50 years, says a new study from scientists at the University of Arizona.

UA geoscientists Cody Routson, Connie Woodhouse and Jonathan Overpeck conducted a study of the southern San Juan Mountains in south-central Colorado. The region serves as a primary drainage site for the Rio Grande and San Juan rivers.

Read the rest of this article...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Missing link in Roman conquest of Germany a 'sensational find'

Archaeologists are celebrating the find of a Roman military camp which was a crucial link in Emperor Augustus’ conquest of Germany – after more than a century of looking for it.

The find, near the small town of Olfen not far from Münster near the Ruhr Valley, has already produced a collection of artefacts, not only pottery but also coins and clothing fasteners. These enabled researchers at the Westphalia-Lippe Municipal Association (LWL) to confirm what they had hoped.

“It’s a sensational discovery for Roman research in Westphalia,” LWL-director Wolfgang Kirsch said in a statement.

Read the rest of this article...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Lost Roman camp that protected against Germanic hordes found

Historians believe the camp, once home to an estimated 1,000 legionaries and located on the River Lippe near the town of Olfen, may well have been served as a key base for the Roman General Drusus, who waged a long and bloody war against the tribes that once inhabited what is now western Germany.
The find comes 100 years after the discovery of a bronze Roman helmet near Olfen indicated the presence of ancient remains but it took a century of searching to finally discover the exact location of the camp.

Read the rest of this article...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Archaeology Courses at the Oxford Experience 2012

1 July to 11 August 2012

The Oxford Experience is a residential summer school held at the college of Christ Church, University of Oxford.

The programme consists of 6 weeks of courses and participants attend for one or more weeks.

It offers a choice of twelve seminars each week over a period of five weeks. Participants do not need any formal qualifications to take part, just an interest in their chosen subject and a desire to meet like-minded people.

You can also find details of the various archaeology courses offered at Oxford Experience here...

Pompeii wall collapse blamed on Berlusconi spending cuts

Part of a Roman wall has collapsed at Pompeii, one year after a house there crumbled, prompting accusations that the Italian government has failed to keep promises to protect the ancient site.

During heavy rain on Friday, an eight square metre section of a perimeter wall crumbled near Nola Gate.

It is the latest in a series of incidents including the fall of the House of the Gladiators last November, which Unesco criticised and which led the government of Silvio Berlusconi to vow that upkeep would improve.

Read the rest of this article...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Part of ancient wall collapses at Pompeii due to heavy rains

MILAN — Officials at Pompeii’s archaeological site say part of a wall has collapsed due to heavy rains in recent days.

Spokeswoman Daniela Leone said Saturday an external layer of a roughly two-meter (six-foot) section of wall collapsed at the northern end of the ancient ruins. Leone said it was of no artistic value and stressed that the wall itself remained standing. The area was closed to the public.

There were two collapses at the 2,000-year-old archaeological site last year, emphasizing concerns about the state of Italy’s cultural treasures.

Read the rest of this article...

Redditch man makes major archaeological discovery

A METAL detecting enthusiast from Redditch has uncovered Worcestershire's largest ever archaeological hoard.

Jethro Carpenter found almost 4,000 Roman coins at Bredon Hill near Evesham - a major significance not only for the county but also the country.

Mr Carpenter, 43, was walking with friend Mark Gilmore when their metal detectors registered 'overload'.

Read the rest of this article...

Ancient Roman wall collapses at Pompeii after flash storms

Rome (AFP) - Part of an ancient Roman wall has collapsed at the archaeological site of Pompeiii in southern Italy following flash floods and storms across the country, a spokeswoman said Saturday.

The wall, built with the Roman "opus incertum" technique using irregularly shaped stones and concrete, collapsed on a stretch of the ancient city’s external walls, near the Porta di Nola, in an area open to the public.

An archaeological team is assessing the damage but there is no risk to public safety, the spokeswoman told AFP.

Read the rest of this article...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bredon Hill Roman coins unveiled at Worcester museum

A hoard of Roman artefacts unearthed in the Worcestershire countryside is to go on show at a museum in the county.

Local metal detector enthusiasts Jethro Carpenter, 43, and Mark Gilmore, 47, discovered more than 3,800 coins in a clay pot at Bredon Hill, near Evesham.

The Roman haul - the county's largest ever - is mainly bronze coins dating back to the 3rd Century.

Featuring 16 different emperors, many will be shown at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum from Saturday.

Read the rest of this article...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Last chance to see city’s Roman dig site

ONE of the nation’s largest archaeological digs, which has unearthed a treasure trove of relics dating from the Roman era, is being opened up to the public for the last time at the weekend.

The excavations overseen by the York Archaeological Trust at the Hungate development are the most extensive in the city since the famous Coppergate dig more than a quarter of a century ago.

The five-year project comes to an end in December and visitors will have a final opportunity on Saturday to meet archaeologists, who will talk through some of the remarkable finds.

Read the rest of this article...

Roman hoard of coins found on Bredon Hill

A FARMER has said metal detector enthusiasts “hit the jackpot” when they uncovered the largest hoard of Roman coins ever found in Worcestershire, on his family’s land at Bredon Hill.

About 4,000 coins, featuring 16 different Roman Emperors, were discovered in June this year and are thought to be of national significance. The farmer, who is not being named by the Journal, said the exact location of the find may never be revealed.

He said: “We were really taken aback and shocked by it.

Read the rest of this article...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Roman barge comes up for air after 2,000 years

Archaeologists have recovered the final piece of a ship that sank in the river Rhone in France more than two millennia ago, which they hope will shed light on how the Romans led the way with globalization. Stuart McDill reports

Watch the video...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

West Cumbrian dig uncovers Roman building

The first week of a 12-day excavation on land below Papcastle has uncovered remains of a Roman building which could have been used as a Roman bath house or a high status building.

Grampus Heritage is leading the community excavation on land owned by Robert and Edmund Jackson.

Archaeologists found evidence of walls of a large Roman building, shards of pottery and metal objects.

Read the rest of this article...

Biggest haul of Roman gold in Britain could have been found

Details of the treasure remained sketchy and the identity of the lucky metal detecting enthusiast has not been revealed.
But it is understood Worcestershire County Council and the county coroner have been informed because of the potential archaeological significance.

The treasure, found at Bredon Hill, the site of an Iron Age fort in Worcestershire, is already being compared with the Staffordshire Hoard, the country's biggest ever find of Anglo Saxon gold.

Read the rest of this article...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

120 Roman Shoes Found in U.K.; "Substantial" Fort Find

About 60 pairs of sandals and shoes that once belonged to Roman soldiers have been unearthed at a supermarket construction site in Camelon, Scotland (see map), archaeologists say.

The 2,000-year-old leather footwear was discovered along with Roman jewelry, coins, pottery, and animal bones at the site, which is located at the northern frontier of the Roman Empire.

The cache of Roman shoes and sandals—one of the largest ever found in Scotland—was uncovered recently in a ditch at the gateway to a second century A.D. fort built along the Antonine Wall. The wall is a massive defensive barrier that the Romans built across central Scotland during their brief occupation of the region.

Read the rest of this article...

Sandford Heath's 'Roman Road' is excavated in Dorset

An archaeological dig has begun on a Dorset footpath to determine whether or not it has Roman origins.

The straight path, known locally as "Roman Road", runs through Sandford Heath between Sandford and Station Road at Holton Heath.

Organisers say the path may have formed part of the main road between Wareham and Poole in the 18th Century.

Read the rest of this article...

Friday, October 7, 2011

£25,000 Roman dig bid for Cockermouth

A £25,000 plan for a three-year Roman excavation project in Cockermouth will be drawn up.
Grampus Heritage has been given the cash by the Heritage Lottery Fund to work up the proposal.

Mark Graham, archaeologist for the non-profit organisation, said the aim was to build a picture of the Roman heritage along the banks of the River Derwent at Cockermouth and Papcastle.

The group will begin 12 days of excavation work on Monday on land below Papcastle, owned by Robert and Edmund Jackson.

Read the rest of this article...

Melting Glaciers Reveal Ancient Artifacts

A well preserved male hunter’s coat from around the year 300 A.D. was found this summer in the Breheimen National Park, making it the oldest piece of clothing in the country.

The coat was found in the rock bed left by a melting glacier.

The warmer weather caused by climate change provides archaeologists, researchers and museums with new opportunities to find artifacts dating back hundreds of years. A new exhibition at the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo will feature all finds from the melting glaciers, most of which date back to Roman times.

Read the rest of this article...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Roman Finds

Archaeological artefacts uncovered

Fresh finds have been made at the site of a Roman villa unearthed at one of the most important archaelogical sites in the South East. The discoveries were made by archaeologists and a huge team of volunteers digging at a clifftop at Folkestone.

Read the rest of this article...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Roman artefacts found at Camelon Tesco site

Archaeologists have uncovered evidence of at least two Roman forts at a supermarket construction site near Falkirk.

Artefacts including bones, jewellery and coins were discovered at the development in Camelon.

Contractors Barr Construction, who are currently building a Tesco store on the site, are to put the excavated items on public display.

Experts believe the forts date back to the first and second centuries AD.

Read the rest of this article...

Dig finds 2,000-year-old salting site at Willow Tree Fen

Archaeologists have been unearthing the story of a 2,000-year-old salt making site on the Lincolnshire fens.

Artefacts such as pottery, hair pins and tools have been found by volunteers at Willow Tree Fen, near Bourne.

Experts were invited to excavate the site by Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust prior to the area becoming a nature reserve.

Watch the video...

Bulgarian archeologists unearth unique mosaic in S. Bulgaria

Stara Zagora. Bulgarian archeologists have unearthed unique mosaic in the southern municipality of Stara Zagora, the press center of the municipality announced.

A team headed by Dimitar Yankov, chief curator of the Regional Museum of History in the city of Stara Zagora, held a press conference on Tuesday to brief the media about the find. The mosaic dates back to around the 3rd century and depicts a man and two women, all members of Dionysus’ entourage.

“The complex figures of dancing women suggest the mosaic was done by a great master. The clothes are in five shades of blue and the red color varies from pink to dark red. The figures are very fine. One of the women holds castanets in her hands and the other one holds other music instruments. The folds of their clothes suggest their knees are bent. Their ankles are bare and their legs move. There is play of light and shade,” said Dimitar Yankov and expressed hope the team’s further excavations would reveal more figures, including the one of Dionysus, the Greek god of grape harvest, winemaking and wine.

Read the rest of this article...

Archaeologists in Roman Road dig at Sandford Heath

A GROUND-BREAKING archaeological search for an ancient Roman road starts in Purbeck next week.

Experts will excavate part of the straight footpath running through Sandford Heath, known locally as the Roman Road.

Historians hope this dig will, once and for all, answer whether the thoroughfare visible today was constructed over an ancient road built during Dorset’s Roman occupation.

Read the rest of this article...

Friday, September 30, 2011

Axes, bones, jewellery and 60 pairs of shoes - secrets of Roman fort revealed

ARCHAEOLOGISTS digging at the site of a former jeans factory have uncovered the remains of at least two Roman forts - and artefacts including 60 pairs of shoes.
The hoard of leather footwear is believed to be the largest of its kind yet found in Scotland.

Other discoveries include pottery, ovens, coins, bones, jewellery, an axe and a spearhead dating back to the first and second centuries AD, when the forts were in use.
Read the rest of this article...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pair investigated on suspicion of attempting to loot buried treasure from Northamptonshire Roman town

TWO people are being investigated by police on suspicion of attempting to loot buried treasure from the site of a historic Roman walled town in Northamptonshire.

Police confirmed the two suspects remained on bail on suspicion of illegally using a metal detector, the theft of treasure, damage to the land and other offences at a site of “tremendous historical and archeological importance”. They are believed to have attempted to take Roman coins and other historical artefacts.

Police said ‘several’ alleged crimes were being investigated at Chester House Farm, in Irchester, which is regarded by historians as one of the most important sites of its type in the county. Police are now liaising with experts from English Heritage and a national police expert about pursuing a case, which if prosecuted, could be one of the biggest of its kind in the country.

Read the rest of this article...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ancient luxury residence of rich family found in İzmir

A luxury residence dating back about 2,000 years to the Roman era has been discovered in the Aegean province of İzmir. Located in the ancient city of Smyrna, the 400-square-meter residence has many rooms, including a bathroom and kitchen.

“The presence of numerous rooms, a bathroom and kitchen show us that a rich family must have lived here together with slaves. We see many details of their lifestyle from the remains found during excavations,” said archaeologist Akın Ersoy, who leads the excavation works.

Read the rest of this article...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pompeii shows its true colours

'Pompeiian red' was created when gases from Vesuvius reacted with yellow paint, research reveals

When word spread to Britain of the sensational discovery of the Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum in the 18th century, "Pompeiian red" became the favoured colour for smart dining-rooms – as it remains today.

But, it seems, it may be time to get out the paint chart. According to new research presented to Sapienza University in Rome last week, large swaths of the vivid "Pompeiian red" frescoes in the town actually began life as yellow – and were turned red by the gases emitted from Vesuvius as it erupted in AD 79.

Read the rest of this article...

Huge ancient Roman shipyard unearthed in Italy

A large Roman shipyard has been uncovered an ancient port in Rome called Portus, researchers reported. They found the remains of a massive building, dating to the second century, where ancient ships were likely built close to the distinctive hexagonal basin, or "harbor," at the center of the port complex. 

"Few Roman Imperial shipyards have been discovered and, if our identification is correct, this would be the largest of its kind in Italy or the Mediterranean," dig director Simon Keay, of the University of Southampton, said in a statement. [ See image of ancient shipyard ]

Portus was a crucial trade gateway linking Rome to the Mediterranean during the Imperial period (27 B.C. to A.D. 565). The area was initially built during the time of Emperor Trajan (A.D. 98 to 117). Excavation at the site has revealed that it had many uses, including to store grain and as a defensive measure.

Read the rest of this article...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Roman baths in Southwark marshlands stun boffins

A rare find of ancient ruins has been made in south London, where Romans used to fear to tread.

Network Rail uncovered the remains of a bath house at London Bridge, last week.

It is shaping up as one of the biggest Roman finds ever made south of the Thames.

Read the rest of this article...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Church concealed bath house remains

NOW here's an old view of Exeter's Cathedral Green which nobody will ever see again except in picture form.

It was taken back in 1959 when Exeter's South Street was undergoing a facelift

Most readers will, I am sure, recognise the cathedral but what on earth was that church with a steeple doing right outside the West Front?

Answer: It was the church of St Mary Major, which became redundant and was demolished in 1970 to open up the West Front approach to the cathedral as we know it today.

Read the rest of this article...

Remains of Roman bath house found on Borough High Street

The remains of a Roman bath house have been found by Network Rail engineers working on the site at the corner of Borough High Street and London Bridge Street which is being redeveloped as part of the Thameslink Programme.

The site, formerly occupied by a fish and chip shop and a nightclub, was cleared to make room for the new railway bridge across Borough High Street which was installed earlier this year. A new office building is planned for the corner site.

Network Rail has commissioned a team of specialist archaeologists from Oxford Archaeology and Pre-Construct Archaeology to excavate the site.

Read the rest of this article...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

1,700-year-old map of Roman roads used for online journey planner

A Dutch historian has used a unique 1,700 year old map of Roman roads to create an online journey planner giving the destinations, distances and timings of routes used by ancient travellers in the days of empire.

Routes are based on the Tabula Peutingeriana, a one of a kind chart, which shows an imperial Roman road network, or curses public's, that stretches from Britain to the river Ganges that flows through India and Bangladesh.

The huge map, last updated in the third or fourth century, shows 2,760 towns with lists of distances and destinations on the Roman roads connecting them, all set out on a scroll of parchment almost 23 feet long.

Read the rest of this article...

Ruins of Roman gladiator school found in Austria

Archaeologists in Austria say they have discovered a large, well preserved school for Roman gladiators.

The remains of the school, at a site east of the modern capital, Vienna, were found using radar imagery.

The school was part of a Roman city which was an important military and trade outpost 17 centuries ago.

Read the rest of this article...

Massive gladiator school is found under Austrian town

A ROMAN gladiator school where men were trained to fight to the death in the arena has been found by archaeologists on the outskirts of the Austrian capital, Vienna - the first to be discovered outside Italy.

Ground-penetrating radar was used to identify the site of the school at a Roman settlement called Carnuntum, a town of 50,000 people 30 miles east of Vienna that flourished about 1,700 years ago. It was a major military and trade outpost linking the far-flung Roman empire's Asian boundaries to its central and northern European lands.

The academy was one of 100 created to train the fighters who were pitted against each other - and against wild animals - for the entertainment of emperors, senators and commoners alike.

Read the rest of this article...

Ruins reveal how Roman gladiators won their spurs

Archaeologists using sophisticated radar equipment say they have located a remarkably well-preserved underground Roman gladiator school that will give them "sensational" new insights into the lives of the fighters 1,700 years ago.

The site, 24 miles east of Vienna, contains the remains of a heated training hall for combatants. It was discovered beneath the former Roman settlement of Carnuntum, which is already home to one the finest amphitheatres ever found. Archaeologists say it is the first gladiator school ever found outside Italy.

Frank Humer, an archaeologist with Vienna's Ludwig-Boltzmann Institute, which found the school while conducting a detailed radar scan of the site, said: "The wooden post that gladiators traditionally used as their mock opponent during training is still visible in the middle of the school's arena."

Read the rest of this article...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Rome monuments attacked by vandals

Three historic monuments have been attacked by vandals in the Italian capital, Rome.

In the first attack, a man was caught on security cameras chipping two pieces off a marble statue on a fountain in the Piazza Navona.

Hours later tourists watched as a man threw a rock at the famous Trevi Fountain in the centre of the city.

Police then said they caught an American student scaling a wall of the Colosseum to chip off pieces of marble.

Read the rest of this article...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Roman Remains Found at Charles Street, Dorchester

Wessex Archaeology has just completed a four week excavation within the southern part of the Charles Street Development in Dorchester. Neil Holbrook, of Cotswold Archaeology has been acting as archaeological consultant on behalf of the developers, Simons Developments and WDDC. A watching brief is currently being maintained on groundwork being undertaken by Cowlin Construction and their subcontractors associated with the construction of West Dorset District Council’s new offices, library and adult learning centre.

As the site occupies an area near to the southern edge of the Roman town of Durnovaria it was predicted evidence of Roman town life would be uncovered during the works. The prediction proved correct; immediately below the modern overburden, the remains of Roman houses were uncovered.

These buildings were built around 100AD and were orientated according to the town’s street plan, which it has been possible to map using evidence from other excavations in Dorchester.

Read the rest of this article...

Archaeologists uncover amphitheatre used to train gladiators near Vienna

The ruins are a 'sensational discovery' with a structure to rival the Colosseum in Rome, archaeologists say

Archaeologists say they have located and excavated the ruins of a huge amphitheatre used to train gladiators east of Vienna, describing it as a "sensational discovery".

They claim that the ruins found through ground radar measurements rival the Colosseum and the Ludus Magnus in Rome in their structure. The Ludus Magnus is the largest of the gladiatorial arenas in the Italian capital, while the Colosseum is the largest amphitheatre ever built in the Roman empire.

Read the rest of this article...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bulgaria subway expansion digs up Roman city

Cars zoom by on the boulevards overhead as work progresses on expanding the subway underneath -- and in between a full-fledged Roman city has emerged right in the heart of the Bulgarian capital.

Archaeologists have little by little unearthed well-preserved stretches of cobbled Roman streets, a public bath, the ruins of a dignitary's house and the curved wall of an early Christian basilica, all dating back to the 4th century AD.

If all goes well, the ruins will be fashioned into a vast underground museum due to open to the public in late 2012.

Read the rest of this article...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Roman dead baby 'brothel' mystery deepens

New research has cast doubt on the theory that 97 infants were killed at a Roman brothel in Buckinghamshire.

In 2008, the remains of the newborn babies were rediscovered packed in cigarette cases in a dusty museum storeroom by Dr Jill Eyers from Chiltern Archaeology.

They were excavated from the remains of a lavish Roman villa complex in Buckinghamshire almost 100 years earlier, but had remained hidden ever since.

Read the rest of this article...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rome's Pantheon may have been built as a massive sundial researchers reveal

It is one of the best preserved buildings from the Roman world, a 2,000-year-old testament to the immense power and wealth of the empire.

But mystery has always surrounded what lies behind the unusual design of the Pantheon, a giant temple in the heart of Rome that was built by the Emperor Hadrian.

Now experts have come up with an intriguing theory – that the temple acted as a colossal sun dial, with a beam of light illuminating its enormous entrance at the precise moment that the emperor entered the building.

Read the rest of this article...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

3,000 Roman 3rd Century coins found in Montgomery field

More than 3,000 Roman coins have been discovered in a field, it has emerged.

The hoard of copper alloy coins, dating from the 3rd Century, was unearthed in Montgomery, Powys, several weeks ago.

About 900 were found by a member of a Welshpool metal detecting club, with the rest of the discovery made with help from archaeologists.

Read the rest of this article...

Streetmuseum : The only way is Londinium

Following on from the success of award-winning phone-app Streetmuseum, the Museum of London has joined forces with the HISTORY Channel to develop a new app which gives users the opportunity to see Roman London as it was 2,000 years ago.
Immersive experiences of Roman London

Streetmuseum Londinium directs users to locations across London where they can immerse themselves in the sights, sounds and remains of Roman life in AD 120.

Users can digitally excavate Roman artefacts, including leather bikini briefs and an ancient manicure set, each item telling the story of life in Roman London. Using amazing technology, the user can reveal the objects on the very spot where they were first found in the capital.

Read the rest of this article...

Should Pompeii have a theme park?

Should archaeologists reconstruct ruins as they decline or should they preserve them as best they can until there is nothing left?

Caroline Lawrence, archaeologist turned children's author, and Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, director of the Herculaneum Conservation project and master of Sidney Sussex College Cambridge, debate the future of Pompeii.

Read the rest of this article...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Northampton archaeologists find man who could be 1,600-years-old

ARCHAEOLOGISTS from Northampton have discovered human remains which could be more than 1,600 years old.

The team from Northamptonshire Archaeology discovered the remains of a man while they were carrying out investigations on a building site.

A small piece of pottery found alongside the crouched skeleton was used to date the burial to somewhere between the years 43 and 410 – suggesting the body is Roman.

Read the rest of this article...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Award winning treasure found in Wing was used by Roman criminals

AN AMATEUR archaeologist from Aylesbury has been given a national award after uncovering a coin press which may have been used to make counterfeit currency in Roman times.

Tom Clarke, who has been metal detecting for more than 40 years, found a number of blank bronze coins and a small anvil in a farmer’s field in Wing.

The unmarked discs are the halfway stage of someone making their own coins and have been dated to around 300AD.

Read the rest of this article...

Roman skeleton unearthed on Watton building site

The remains of a male believed to date back to the Roman occupation of Britain have been discovered in Watton, west Norfolk.

The bones were unearthed during work to turn a former RAF base into housing and are thought to have been buried around AD43 to 410.

BBC Radio Norfolk's Elizabeth Dawson spoke to site developer Edward Parker and lead archaeologist Mark Holmes to find out more about the discovery.

Read the rest of this article...

The Only Way is Londinium, Roman London is Revealed with Augmented Reality in New App

Following on from the success of award-winning app Streetmuseum™, the Museum of London has joined forces with AETN UK ’s flagship channel HISTORY™ to develop a new app which gives users the opportunity to see Roman London as it was 2,000 years ago.

Streetmuseum Londinium will direct users to locations across London where they can immerse themselves in the sights, sounds and remains of Roman life. At the city’s peak in AD 120 approximately 25,000 Romans lived in London , leaving much behind to explore today.

Users can digitally excavate Roman artefacts, including leather bikini briefs and an ancient manicure set, which tell the stories of life in Londinium. Using their finger to dig and by blowing on their iPhone, users will gradually reveal the objects where they were first found in the capital.

Read the rest of this article...

Monday, July 18, 2011

'Fantastic results' at Roman dig in Maryport

The excavation of a Roman site at Maryport, in Cumbria, has produced "fascinating results", experts say.

The project at the remains of a Roman fort at Camp Farm, which started last year, is due to be completed on 22 July.

The team said it had found many features not recorded by a previous excavation in 1870.

Read the rest of this article...

Archaeologists discover a hoard of silver Roman denarii coins at Vindolanda

A hoard of twenty one silver denarii has been recovered during the recent excavation of the foundations of a clay floor in a centurion’s apartment of the late Antonine period (cAD180-200) at Vindolanda, northeast England.

The hoard had been buried, possibly in a purse or some similar organic package which had long since rotted away, in a shallow pit within the foundation material of the floor of the structure in the middle of the room.

Dr Andrew Birley – director of excavations at the site explains, “The coins were tightly packed together and several had corroded onto one another, held together as a group by the foundation clay of the building on the surrounding packaging that had rotted away. The surface area covered by the coins was no greater than 10cms, suggesting that there had been little movement by post depositional processes. The archaeological context suggests that the hoard may well have been deliberately buried, rather than lost, and was probably the savings of an individual who was unable to recover his money.”

Read the rest of this article...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Neue Multimedia-Führung im LVR-RömerMuseum

Auf virtuelle Streifzüge durch die Antike können sich die Besucher des LVR-RömerMuseums im Archäologischen Park Xanten begeben.

Ab sofort erwecken kurze Filmsequenzen und Animationen auf handlichen Multimedia-Geräten die Exponate aus der römischen Zeit an insgesamt 40 Stationen zum Leben: Auf Knopfdruck erwächst ein ganzer Tempel aus dem Bruchstück einer Säule, steuert ein voll beladener Lastkahn in den römischen Hafen oder beginnt ein Vogelflug über den Dächern der römischen Stadt. In vier Sprachen gibt es neben den Informationen für Erwachsene auch spezielle Filme für Kinder. Für Menschen mit eingeschränktem Hörvermögen werden alle Filme zusätzlich mit Gebärdensprachendolmetscher angeboten.

Read the rest of this article...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Italy: Nero's Golden House to remain closed to visitors

Roman Emperor Nero's first century Domus Aurea villa will be closed to visitors for at least another three years as complicated repairs to the sprawling complex cause its scheduled 2011 reopening to be delayed, said the Italian culture minister's director general for archeology Luigi Malnati.

"You first and foremost have to avoid further collapses and save it," he said in an interview with Il Messaggero newspaper published on Friday.

Some historians say Nero started the great fire that charred much of Rome in 64 AD to make room for his 300 acre Domus Aurea, or Golden House that was adorned by gold leaf and dazzling frescos.

Read the rest of this article...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Roman-era shipwreck reveals ancient medical secrets

A first-aid kit found on a 2,000-year-old shipwreck has provided a remarkable insight into the medicines concocted by ancient physicians to cure sailors of dysentery and other ailments.

A wooden chest discovered on board the vessel contained pills made of ground-up vegetables, herbs and plants such as celery, onions, carrots, cabbage, alfalfa and chestnuts – all ingredients referred to in classical medical texts.

The tablets, which were so well sealed that they miraculously survived being under water for more than two millennia, also contain extracts of parsley, nasturtium, radish, yarrow and hibiscus.

Read the rest of this article...

Archaeologists Explore the Secrets of Bulgarian Pompei

Bulgarian-British expedition resumed the excavations in the ancient city of Nikopolis-ad-Istrum near Veliko Tarnovo. This is the best preserved archaeological site in Bulgaria and a specialized Italian publication called it Bulgarian Pompei for its importance.

This summer archaeologists will be exploring a building dating back to the ruling of Roman emperor Septimus Severus. According to experts, the building was used as temple by the worshippers of goddess Cybele.

So far the archaeologists have found fragments of wall paneling, details of door cases, windows and niches.

Read the rest of this article...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Roman Frontier Gallery tells tales from Cumbria's origins at Tullie House Museum

The pavements outside Tullie House’s beautiful old building, in Castle Street, once played host to Roman posties.

Just 20 years after the marauding channel-hoppers had arrived in Carlisle, in around AD 72, letters were being peacefully shuttled between correspondents in the Cumbria settlement.

The tablets they were written on serve as handy evidence of the earliest examples of handwriting, forming part of a gripping new gallery in a cavern beneath the doors they were delivered to almost 2,000 years ago.

Read the rest of this article...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Roman silver coins go on display in Warwick

A hoard of Roman silver coins which pre-date the birth of Christ are going on show at the Warwickshire Museum.

A Roman pot containing 1,146 silver denarii coins was found by a man using a metal detector in a field on Edge Hill in the county.

The hoard, which dates back to 190 BC, will be on display from Saturday as the museum in Market Square, Warwick, marks its 60th birthday this month.

Read the rest of this article...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Important Roman altar stone unearthed at Cumbrian dig

A historically important Roman altar stone has been discovered by archeologists digging in Maryport.

The excavation at Camp Farm is being led by Professor Ian Haynes, of Newcastle University with leading field archaeologist Tony Wilmott.

The site is internationally famous as the place where 17 altar stones found in 1870 - they are now on display in the museum at the town’s Senhouse Roman Museum.

Read the rest of this article...

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Capita consultant on Cumbrian Roman visitor centre

Firm is lead consultant and architect on the £10.7m Roman Maryport Development

Capita Symonds is the lead consultant and architect for a Roman visitor attraction centre in Cumbria. The £10.7m Roman Maryport development is at Camp Farm, a Victorian model farm that includes a Roman fort and civilian settlement in the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The site is owned by Hadrian’s Wall Heritage and plans have been submitted to Allerdale Borough Council.

Read the rest of this article...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gloucestershire's oldest coin discovered in field

A Roman coin more than 2,000 years old has been discovered near Huntley, and a dog walker has been puzzled by finds of iron ore in the same village.

David Hutton, from Taynton, discovered the Roman coin earlier this month and has since had it confirmed that the coin is the oldest in the county.

"It's dated 147BC but the Romans didn't invade Britain until 43AD," said David, 58, who has been scouring the area with farmer Don Sherratt since they found a Roman hoard of coins in 1996.

"It's sparked a bit of a debate. It could mean the Romans were trading with a local Iron Age tribe, or it could just be that it was an old coin that came over when they invaded."

Read the rest of this article...

Mildenhall: Historic silver Mildenhall Treasure to return to Suffolk

The Great Dish is the most famous object from the Mildenhall treasure which was discovered near the town in 1942.

Because of its international importance, the collection of late-Roman silver tableware has been housed at the British Museum in London.

However, the museum is now planning to return the fourth century dish to Suffolk as part of its Spotlights Tour.

Read the rest of this article...

1,400-year-old St Paul fresco discovered in ancient Roman catacomb

The fresco was found during restoration work at the Catacombs of San Gennaro (Saint Januarius) in the southern port city of Naples by experts from the Pontifical Commission of Sacred Art.

The announcement was made on the feast day of St Peter and Paul which is traditionally a bank holiday in Rome and details of the discovery were disclosed in the Vatican's official newspaper L'Osservatore Romano.

A photograph released by the Vatican shows the apostle, famous for his conversion to Christianity from Judaism, with a long neck, a slightly pink complexion, thinning hair, a beard and big eyes that give his face a "spiritual air."

Read the rest of this article...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Plans revealed for £11 million Roman centre in west Cumbria

Hadrian’s Wall Heritage Ltd has submitted an application to build the world-class tourist attraction at Maryport to Allerdale Council.

It aims to build on the area’s strong Roman heritage and recent archeological finds across the local area.

Artists’ impressions have now been unveiled for the development at Camp Farm – a Victorian model farm including a Roman fort and civilian settlement – where many discoveries have been made.

The plans are now available to view online and Michael Baker, director of sustainable development for Hadrian’s Wall Heritage, is urging local people to give their views.

Read the rest of this article...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Roman baths are uncovered in York

The remains of a Roman bath complex have been uncovered in York.

The baths, which date from the second and third centuries AD, were discovered during construction of a new council headquarters building.

The edge of the complex was first discovered in the 1840s when the original railway station in the city was built on the site.

This is the first time archaeologists have been able to investigate the site since the 19th Century.

Read the rest of this article...

Roman Fort Project needs your support

The Roman Fort Project is an opportunity to enable people of all ages and abilities to engage with the past. For this dream to become a reality your help is needed.

Paul Harston of Roman Tours previously built a temporary camp at Chester in 2008. Then along with Dean Paton of Archaeology for Schools, the pair decided to re-visit and re-work the idea. As part of their vision, visitors will be able to watch the construction of a fort in real-time and learn about the evolution of the site as the building work continues – all set within a historically accurate reconstructed landscape.

The project represents an opportunity to bring together period re-enactment, mainstream education and academically-focussed archaeology.

Read the rest of this article...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Herculaneum sewer sheds light on secrets of Roman life

Archaeologists have been discovering how Romans lived 2,000 years ago, by studying what they left behind in their sewers.

A team of experts has been sifting through hundreds of sacks of human excrement.

They found a variety of details about their diet and their illnesses.

This unconventional journey into the past took the team down into an ancient sewer below the town of Herculaneum.

Read the rest of this article...

Shock and awe: Nijmegen helmet gives Carlisle museum a boost

Tullie House – which missed out on Crosby Garrett helmet – says saga has helped secure display items

The beautiful face with lips slightly parted and a shimmering androgynous appearance is eerily familiar. It could be the cousin of the world-famous Crosby Garrett helmet, which a small museum in Cumbria raised an astonishing £1.7m for last year, only to be outbid at auction, sparking a continuing controversy over protection for major archaeological finds in Britain.

Tullie House museum in Carlisle is being loaned the Nijmegen helmet for the opening of its new Roman gallery next week. It is one of the treasures of the Valkhof museum, at Nijmegen in the Netherlands where it was excavated, but they agreed the loan without hesitation. Other loans are coming to the gallery from the British Museum, and private collectors.

Read the rest of this article...

With Roman Ruins Under Threat, Libya's Ancient Past Presses Against Its Present

According to a report on, NATO officials overseeing the aerial bombing campaign against the forces of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya could target positions nestled within an ancient complex of Roman ruins. Rebel sources claim that Gaddafi troops have stashed rocket launchers and other military equipment at the site of the ancient city of Leptis Magna, a remarkably well-preserved relic of Roman antiquity halfway down the road between Tripoli and the besieged rebel-held port of Misratah. With NATO having escalated its efforts to topple the Gaddafi regime, no archaeological treasure — not even a UNESCO heritage site such as Leptis Magna — may be entirely safe.

Read the rest of this article...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dormice, sea urchins and fresh figs: the Roman diet revealed

Dormice, sea urchins and fresh figs were among the delicacies enjoyed by ordinary Romans, British archaeologists have revealed after discovering a giant septic tank at one of the ancient cities destroyed by the eruption of Mt Vesuvius.

Archaeologists found a treasure trove of everyday artefacts after digging up nearly 800 sacks of compacted human waste from the tank, which lies beneath the remains of a Roman apartment block in Herculaneum, destroyed after it was buried by ash from the volcano in AD79.

The British team has found hundreds of objects, including bronze coins, precious stones, bone hair pins and an exquisite gold ring decorated with a tiny figure of the god Mercury.

Read the rest of this article...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

First find in Senhouse Roman Museum dig at Maryport hints at new altar discoveries

Nothing gets the hearts of history fans racing like a good old-fashioned archaeological dig. The surface-scraping going on at Maryport, the Cumbrian site once roamed by the Romans, holds an almost limitless potential for new discoveries.

Days into the dig, Eric Waters – one of the lucky squad from Newcastle University charged with getting their hands dirty in the tantalising terrain – has found the first of them, a carved red sandstone fragment of a Roman altar stone with a small scroll.

Read the rest of this article...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Roman skeleton unearthed in Dr Jenner's garden

A SKELETON which could date back to Roman times has been discovered by celebrity archaeologists.

Professor Mark Horton and Dr Stuart Prior, from televison's Time Team, have unearthed the ancient bones in the garden of Dr Edward Jenner's museum at Berkeley.

"This is an extremely rare find of great historical significance," said Sarah Parker, director of the Jenner museum.

A dig team from the University of Bristol has been working at the site every summer since 2007. And they believe the skeleton may date back to Roman or even sub-Roman times. It was found underneath the sealed remains of part of the Anglo-Saxon Mynster, founded in the 8th Century.

Read the rest of this article...

Monday, June 6, 2011

People in Bath urged to vote for Roman Baths

Civic leaders have urged people to take part in a vote to help the Roman Baths win a £100,000 prize.

The council-run complex is currently lagging behind a museum in Scotland in the public vote connected to the Art Prize Fund - a £100,000 grant for the museum judged best in the country.

The final decision on which of four attractions will get the money is down a panel of judges headed by former minister Michael Portillo, with a decision due on June 15.

But they will be swayed by the results of an online poll whose purpose is to establish the level of public support for each contender.

Read the rest of this article...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ancient gold jewellery returns to Rhayader Museum

Two rare troves of ancient gold are being displayed together for the first time in a new exhibition.

The treasures were found 55 years apart in fields in Rhayader, Powys, but have been kept at the British Museum and the National Museum of Wales.

The Bronze Age bracelets and Roman jewellery are on loan to the CARAD Rhayader Museum and Gallery.

Read the rest of this article...

Segontium Museum closes for summer amid Cadw takeover

Welsh heritage body Cadw will take over the management of the Segontium Museum and Roman fort in Caernarfon, Gwynedd.

The financially-troubled museum will remain closed this summer, although the external areas of the fort will continue to be open to the public.

Cadw will take over from from Segontium Cyf, a company run by local people.

Read the rest of this article...

Roman jewels return to Rhayader

Roman jewels found on a Powys hillside over a century ago have returned home to be exhibited there for the first time.

The gold is normally kept at the British Museum in London.

A second hoard of treasure discovered in the Rhayader area half a century later will also be part of the exhibition.

Read the rest of this article...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Decision due on Segontium Museum's future, Caernarfon

Talks are due to be held to decide the future of a museum and Roman fort which has closed amid financial problems.

Segontium Museum in Caernarfon, Gwynedd, is shut until further notice and its board says it has suffered since many museum fees were dropped.

It relies on admission fees and grants from the town council.

Last month, it was claimed tourists could also be put off by litter allegedly caused by drunken youths gathering at the fort.

Read the rest of this article...

Excavation at site of Roman altars find in Maryport

Experts from Newcastle University are to begin excavating an internationally important Roman site in Cumbria.

The archaeological team is focusing on the site of a major discovery of Roman altars 141 years ago.

The site where the 17 altars were found now forms part of the Roman Maryport site at Camp Farm, which is owned by Hadrian's Wall Heritage.

It is hoped the dig, which will continue into July, will shed light on the nature of religion at the time.

Read the rest of this article...

Roman ship had on-board fish tank

Hand-operated pump would have kept catch alive during long trips.

A Roman ship found with a lead pipe piercing its hull has mystified archaeologists. Italian researchers now suggest that the pipe was part of an ingenious pumping system, designed to feed on-board fish tanks with a continuous supply of oxygenated water. Their analysis has been published online in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology1.

Historians have assumed that in ancient times fresh fish were eaten close to where they were caught, because without refrigeration they would have rotted during transportation. But if the latest theory is correct, Roman ships could have carried live fish to buyers across the Mediterranean Sea.

Read the rest of this article...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Roman ring discovered in field

AN ancient silver ring discovered in a remote field has been classified as buried treasure.

The 1,900 year old ring was found by Simon Ashford buried 20cm below the surface in a field in Alconbury near Huntingdon on March 20 last year.

Mr Ashford, from Godmanchester, who had been searching the field with a metal detector, sent the ring to the British Museum in London, where Ralph Jackson, of the pre-history of Europe department, examined it.

Read the rest of this article...

Roman road exposed during revamp work at Chester attraction

ARCHAEOLOGISTS carrying out a trial dig in advance of the revamp of an historic attraction came across the original Roman road.

Work is under way to improve access to the foundations of the Roman south east angle tower overlooked by The Off The Wall pub, on the inner ring road, together with better interpretation boards.

Archaeologists asked to ensure any underground remains were protected during the work came across the original Roman road just centimetres below the surface.

Read the rest of this article...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Video: Faces from Roman past of the Fens

Discover more about the Romans and their impact on Cambridgeshire at a new exhibition in Ely Museum.

Among the artefacts on show are numerous pottery faces, which archaeologists believe could have been used as cremation urns.

Kate Ayres, museum curator, said: “The faces are marvellous. “We believe they are actual faces of people who have died and they were used as cremation urns.”

Read the rest of this article...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A bit of modern archeology, to challenge recorded history

All roads lead to Rome – some 400,000 of them, constructed during the early civilization of theRoman Empire.

At least, that’s what we were taught in school.

Roman roads are, or certainly were, long and straight. They’re made from broken stones, mixed with cement, tightly packed then paved.

The aim, of course, was to make getting from A to B – by foot, cart or horseback – as easy as possible.

Read the rest of this article...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Unearthing the Crossrail skeletons

Yesterday I was given exclusive access to the preparation work that's going on for the Crossrail tunnelling.

Millions of pounds are being spent on archaeological and geological surveys across the capital and they're coming up with some striking findings.

The archaeologists are currently working outside Liverpool Street Station.

Behind some metal hoardings - yards away from the 205 bus route - they've been digging trenches where Crossrail's ticket hall will be.

Read the rest of this article...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Stonemasons drafted in to repair damage to landmark Roman arch in Lincoln

A FAMOUS Roman landmark has been given a makeover to repair damage caused by harsh winter weather.

Specialist stonemasons were drafted in by the City of Lincoln Council to tend to Newport Arch in Ermine Street, which has been ravaged by two successive severe winters.

Work began in the early hours of yesterday morning to repair limestone and plug up cracks in the Roman gate to stop water seeping inside its walls.

Maintenance work was also carried out to the adjoining Newport Cottage and nets that were put up around the arch in February last year to catch falling debris were emptied and re-hung.

Read the rest of this article...

Base dig unearths 2,000-year-old find

ARCHAEOLOGISTS working on a military base have unearthed what they believe could be a 2,000-year-old Roman shrine.

The shrine was discovered during a dig at RAF Lakenheath, with senior Suffolk County Council archaeologists calling the find ‘extremely unusual’.

Jo Caruth, senior project manager, said: “We’ve worked on the base for quite a few years now, but in that time we’ve not seen anything quite like this.”

Read the rest of this article...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mit dem Video-Guide durch die Römerzeit

Als erstes Museum in Westfalen und eines der ersten Museen Deutschlands bietet das LWL-Römermuseum in Haltern einen speziellen Multimedia-Führer für gehörlose Menschen an.

Auf einem kleinen Bildschirm sind auf den tragbaren Geräten Informationen zu den wichtigsten Museumsbereichen und Exponaten in deutscher Gebärdensprache abrufbar. Seit Mittwoch, dem11. Mai 2011 ist der Video-Guide im LWL-Römermuseum für eine Leihgebühr erhältlich.

Read the rest of this article...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Archaeology: Roman stadium in Plovdiv set for face-lift

Plovdiv's Roman Stadium is due to undergo an overhaul worth some 700 000 leva, with restoration works due to be completed by December 15 2011, reports in Bulgarian media said on May 10.

The facility is among the largest Roman structures in the Balkans. The massive edifice is 180m long and had a capacity of over 30 000 spectators. It is believed that it was built during the reign of Septimus Severus (193-211).

The reconstruction process will be carried out by a consortium selected in open competition staged in March this year, Dnevnik daily reported.

Read the rest of this article...

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Imperial period Roman ship found in Ostia Antica

Archaeologists say they have found part of an ancient ship near Rome during repair work to a bridge. The 11 metre vessel is one of the largest ancient vessels excavated near Ostia Antica, a port city founded some 2,500 years ago.

The original river harbour of Ostia had limitations as larger ships such as this one could not enter it due to a sand bar near the mouth of the river. Mercantile goods that arrived in large sea going ships had to be transferred to smaller vessels at sea then these shallow-draught vessels could navigate the river and moor at the Tiber quays, but as time passed there was just not enough capacity for Rome’s growing needs.

The Emperor Claudius started the construction of an artificial harbour, in AD 42 a few kilometres to the north of Ostia. A huge basin was created by enhancing a natural bay, protected by two curved moles and a lighthouse. A number of ships filled with Roman concrete was used as foundations for these moles.

Read the rest of this article...

Italy: Ancient ship uncovered near Rome coast

Builders have unearthed the remains of a 2,000 year-old wooden ship dating from the Roman Empire, near the Italian capital Rome's ancient port of Ostia. The ship's discovery, made during work at the site of a new road, was hailed as an important one by archaeologists.

"It shows that the coastline during during ancient Roman times was some 3-4 kilometres farther inland than it is now," said Ostia archaeology official Anna Maria Moretti .

The wooden ship was about 11 metres long, making it one of the largest ancient vessels excavated near Ostia Antica, a port city founded some 2,500 years ago and Rome's first colony.

Read the rest of this article...

Roman Ship Emerges Near Ancient Port

A 2,000-year-old Roman ship in the middle of a plain near the ancient port of Rome has been unearthed by Italian archaeologists.

The wooden vessel was found at a depth of 13 feet during repair work on a bridge that links the modern town of Ostia with Fiumicino, where Rome's main airport is located.

Measuring 36 feet in length, the ship is the largest ever excavated near the ruins of Ostia Antica, a port city near the mouth of the Tiber River that rivals the riches of Pompeii.

Read the rest of this article...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Girl 'murdered' by Roman soldiers in north Kent

The body of a girl thought to have been murdered by Roman soldiers has been discovered in north Kent.

Archaeologists working on the site of a Roman settlement near the A2 uncovered the girl who died almost 2,000 years ago.

"She was killed by a Roman sword stabbing her in the back of the head," said Dr Paul Wilkinson, director of the excavation.

"By the position of the entry wound she would have been kneeling at the time."

Read the rest of this article...

Remains of ancient Roman temple uncovered

WORK being carried out in the area surrounding the Roman ruins in Torrox have uncovered remains of a temple dating back to the first century. Between 30 and 40 pieces, mainly lintels and fragments of columns have been found near the coast and work is ongoing in the hopes of discovering other hidden remains.

The archaeologist supervising the works, Aurora Urdiales, has classified it as an “impressive discovery, both due to the magnitude and dimension of each element and due to the state of conservation in which they have been found”.

The temple is believed to be part of the old Roman town of Caviclum, located in the area where the lighthouse can now be seen.

Read the rest of this article...

Roman tomb found under Naples toxic waste dump

Archaeologists have discovered an ancient Roman mausoleum under an illegal toxic waste dump near Naples.

The sprawling 2nd-century AD tomb, complete with stucco work and decorations, was found under nearly 60 tonnes of refuse illicitly piled up in 17th-century ruins at Pozzuoli, site of the ancient Roman seaside town of Puteolanum.

Police with diggers cleared away the top level of garbage and unearthed an underground tunnel leading into the mausoleum which archaeologists described as "of extraordinary interest".

Read the rest of this article...

Italy: Ancient Roman mausoleum found under tonnes of garbage

Italian police near Naples discovered a 2,000-year-old Roman-era mausoleum buried under tons of illegally-dumped garbage.

The mausoleum, which dates back to the second century AD, was found by police hidden beneath 58 tonnes of garbage in the coastal town Pozzuoli while they were impounding the site they say was used to illegally dispose of waste.

Police used earth-moving equipment to dig through the garbage revealing the entrance to the mausoleum which was used to hide refuse.

Marble beams and decorations came to light after trash was removed from the tunnel.

Read the rest of this article...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Uncovered: The remains of two Roman soldiers

ARCHAEOLOGISTS believe they have uncovered the remains of two Roman soldiers beneath one of Colchester’s former barracks.

The remains of two spearmen, laid to rest on their backs with their weapons and armour, have been discovered in a cemetery beneath the former Hyderabad Barracks.

The Colchester Archaeological Trust believes they could have been Saxon soldiers hired in the 4th or 5th century AD – the final days of the Roman empire.

Read the rest of this article...

Tyrannical Roman Emperor's Home Reconstructed

Notorious for being a cruel megalomaniac tyrant who persecuted early Christians, had his stepbrother, two of his wives and even his own mother murdered, Rome's fifth emperor, Nero, has never been held dear in Roman history.

In fact, he has been accused of nearly destroying Rome, itself, by allegedly setting the Great Fire in 64 A.D. that devastated the city.

Now tourists can tour his first palace.

Read the rest of this article...

Legendary Saints Were Real, Buried Alive, Study Hints

Bones of a Roman couple—killed for being Christian—may have been identified.

The skeletons of two married, early-Christian saints—said to have been buried alive nearly 2,000 years ago—may have been identified in Italy, scientists announced Thursday.

Analysis of the skeletons—sealed off for centuries in an Italian cathedral until recently—seems to support the legend of Chrysanthus and Daria, who are said to have been persecuted in the city of Rome for being Christians.

Read the rest of this article...

Discovering Santa Fiora

The Caput Aquae of the Aqua Traiana

Two web pages about the Santa Fiora Aqueduct:

The Archaeology of the Spring Chamber at the Santa Fiora Nymphaeum


Features of the Aqua Traiana Aqueduct Tunnel at Santa Fiora

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Aqueduct Hunter dot Com launches on Worldwide Water day 2011

The AqueductHunter Website has launched today on Worldwide Water day, and features a special report on the discovery of the Santa Fiora Nymphaeum, the primary source of the Aqua Traiana Aqueduct. has twelve pages of information on the Santa Fiora discovery and the Aqua Traiana, twenty six image pages and four brand-spanking new plans and projections of the Fiora Nymphaeum site. is a great resource for Emperors, Enthusiasts and Erudati alike.

Come and read about the world of Roman Water and meet the fearless aqueduct hunters

Friday, April 15, 2011

Roman kilns and Bronze Age remains at Plumley Wood

rchaeological fieldwork carried out in advance of mineral extraction unearthed a group of pottery kilns dating from the late Roman period. This is one of several discoveries revealed by Thames Valley Archaeological Services (TVAS) during the course of quarrying in the area and includes an important Late Palaeolithic site just to the south at Somerley.

The New Forest has long been recognized as an important centre of pottery production in Roman Britain, its products being widely traded throughout the province. It is, however, a somewhat surprising location for site director Andy Taylor and his team to find such an industry. The main drawback being the lack of locally available clay suitable for potting. It appears that the supply of timber for fuel was more important than the lack of clay.

The pottery produced here is distinctive for its shiny appearance, which seems to have been intended to imitate metallic vessels (silver or pewter); and even the shapes also seem to copy metal vessel shapes, such as the very typical indented beaker (see photograph).

Read the rest of this article...

A temple of Roman goddess Nemesis, discovered in Alba Iulia

A temple built by Roman legions at the end of the second or start of the third century has been discovered within the Alba Iulia citadel, reports Mediafax news wire. The intricate detail of this discovery consists in the fact that a sacred temple was rarely, if ever, built inside a Roman legion camp.

The discovery was made during improvement works developed at the archaeological site of the Alba Iulia citadel. The temple is part of the Gemina Legion 13 camp and is believed to have been built by the soldiers, as an offering to their patron. The temple comprises a votive altar, a marble plaque representing a gladiator and a marble statue of the goddess, reports Mediafax. Several other traces of the Roman legion camps were also discovered at the site.

Nemesis was the goddess of revenge for Romans, being also regarded as the patron of gladiators and soldiers.

Read the rest of this article...

Römisches Kriegsschiff kreuzt im Dienst der Wissenschaft

Trierer Professor Christoph Schäfer betreut Nachbau einer „Navis Lusoria“

Ein Desaster? Über Monate haben viele Hände an dem Nachbau eines römischen Kriegsschiffs gebaut. Und dann das: Bei der Jungfernfahrt dringt Wasser in den Rumpf. Was Laien in eine Schrecken versetzt, ist für Experten kein unrühmlicher Untergang eines ambitionierten Projekts, sondern durchaus beabsichtigt.

Damit das Schiff schwimmt, müssen seine Planken Feuchtigkeit aufnehmen, aufquellen und auf diese Weise den Bootsrumpf abdichten. Nicht nur bei diesem Verfahren halten sich die Bootsbauer, die in einer Germersheimer Bundeswehrkaserne eine sogenannte „Navis Lusoria“ nachbauen, getreu an die historischen Vorbilder. Wie diese römischen Kriegsschiffe des dritten und vierten nachchristlichen Jahrhunderts konstruiert und gebaut waren, weiß in Deutschland kaum jemand besser als Prof. Dr. Christoph Schäfer, Althistoriker an der Universität Trier. Es ist nicht die erste Rekonstruktion, die unter seinen wissenschaftlichen Fittichen entsteht und neue Erkenntnisse erbringen soll.

Read the rest of this article...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Roman “Treasure Trove” find is so saucy!

A SOLID gold pendant with an unmistakable shape was the subject of a “treasure trove” inquest at Lynn County Court yesterday.

For the item on which Norfolk coroner William Armstrong was being asked to adjudicate was a Roman golden pendant in the distinctive shape of a phallus.

The coroner said the pendant was found on land belonging to farmer Neil Riseborough at Hillington on January 30 this year by Kevin Hillier.

Read the rest of this article...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fall of Roman Empire caused by 'contagion of homosexuality'

A prominent Italian historian has claimed that the Roman Empire collapsed because a "contagion of homosexuality and effeminacy" made it easy pickings for barbarian hordes, sparking a furious row.

Roberto De Mattei, 63, the deputy head of the country's National Research Council, claimed that the empire was fatally weakened after conquering Carthage, which he described as "a paradise for homosexuals".

The remarks prompted angry calls for his resignation, with critics saying his comments were homophobic, offensive and unbecoming of his position.

Read the rest of this article...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Canterbury’s Roman Theatre revealed

Canterbury’s Roman Theatre has once again taken centre stage. Routine investigations at the north-east end of Castle Street, revealed a section of paving that probably formed part of the orchestra, together with masonry possibly associated with the stage.

Blocks of tightly-jointed, squared blocks of greensand were found in the first trench (0.10m in thickness and on average measuring about 1 by 1.20m) and were laid over a thick bedding of mortared flints.

Read the rest of this article...

iPad Helps Archaeologists

New technology is revolutionizing the precise recording of history at an ancient, lost city, bucking a tradition that has been in place for centuries. University of Cincinnati researchers will present "The Paperless Project: The Use of iPads in the Excavations at Pompeii"* at the 39th annual international conference of Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA). The conference takes place April 12-16 in Beijing, China.

UC teams of archaeologists have spent more than a decade at the site of the Roman city that was buried under a volcano in 79 AD. The project is producing a complete archaeological analysis of homes, shops and businesses at a forgotten area inside one of the busiest gates of Pompeii, the Porta Stabia.

Read the rest of this article...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Archaeologists unearth 150 Roman graves in Canterbury

Canterbury - An ancient burial ground has been uncovered by archaeologists in the southern England county of Kent. The Roman cemetery dates back to around 290AD.
It was during the late era of the Roman Empire when around 150 men, women and children were buried along St Dunstan's Street, a Roman suburb of Canterbury. The site had been home to Halletts garage for several years before it was pulled down and the local authority prepared the land for housing. That was until a skeleton was discovered by workmen.

Read the rest of this article...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Roman quarry found in Barry, Wales

An archeologist says he has found the remains of a Roman quarry in the old harbor at Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan which provided the limestone for a Roman fort.

Karl-James Langford of Barry says the pottery remains show that the beach man-made walls might date back to 1,900 years ago, the state-funded BBC reported.

The quarry was used until the 19th century, but its origins were unknown.

"It's not in the records - it may have been completely ignored because it's too obvious," Langford said, adding that the quarry was the limestone source for the Roman fort whose ruins can be seen in the walls around Cardiff Castle.

Read the rest of this article...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hoard of necessity coins discovered in Roman workshops

Archaeological excavations carried out in Autun, a suburb of Arroux, in France revealed an ancient quarter composed of craft workshops and fine residences. The workshop of the famous coroplath (figurine maker) Pistillus was discovered, along with a pottery kiln and moulds, complete figurines and failed ones, and signed with the name of the figurine maker.

More than 100,000 Roman coins

During the final weeks of the excavation the archaeologists also found a cache of Roman coins dating to the end of the 3rd century AD which were buried in a pit sealed with tiles.

The small bronze coins were of an ‘unofficial’ type, like many that circulated during the troubled period of the second half of the 3rd century/early 4th century. Internal wars and conflict between contenders to the emperor’s throne, epidemics, the financial burdens of sustaining a large army, pressures at the borders of the Empire, economic crisis, and a host of other troubles meant the Empire was in crisis at this time.

Read the rest of this article...

Roman graves uncovered in Canterbury

Archaeologists have uncovered an ancient burial ground in Kent where around a hundred people were laid to rest.

The site - dating back to the late Roman era - is on the former Hallets garage site in Canterbury's St Dunstan's.

Experts have found hardly any grave goods and since most of the bodies are lying east/west they are believed to be mainly Christian.

The excavation is being carried by Canterbury Archaeological Trust.

Read the rest of this article...