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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Frome Hoard of Roman coins to stay in Somerset

The largest ever collection of Roman coins found in Britain in one pot will stay in the county where it was unearthed.

The Museum of Somerset has raised £320,250 to keep the Frome Hoard. There had been fears it would go to London.

The coins, which date back over 1,700 years, were found last April by metal-detectorist Dave Crisp from Wiltshire.

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Hoard of Roman coins to stay in Somerset

The largest ever collection of Roman coins found in Britain in one pot will stay in the county where it was unearthed.

The Museum of Somerset has raised £320,250 to keep the Frome Hoard. There had been fears it would go to London.

The coins, which date back over 1,700 years, were found last year by metal-detectorist Dave Crisp.

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Early Roman site found in Gloucestershire

Cotswold Archaeology have unearthed the remains of the earliest known Roman settlement in the Five Valleys including more than a dozen human burials near Stroud in Gloucestershire, south-west England.

The excavations revealed evidence of some of the earliest Roman activity currently known in the area dating back to the mid to late 1st century AD – not long after the Roman invasion in AD43. There is also some evidence of much earlier activity from the Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age and Late Iron Age periods, including a tree throw containing at least four individual Beakers (2600 BC-1800 BC).

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Rare Roman altar stones uncovered in Musselburgh

Two rare, carved altar stones found in East Lothian could shed new light about the Roman period in Scotland, it has been claimed.

The Roman stones were found during the redevelopment of a cricket pavilion in Lewisvale Park, Musselburgh.

Experts said they may help re-write the history books on the Roman occupation of Inveresk.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Experts knocked for six by cricket club Roman artefacts

THE secrets of two ancient Roman altars discovered beneath a cricket pavilion in Musselburgh have finally been revealed after painstaking efforts by archaeologists.

Boasting intricate craftwork loaded with religious symbolism, the significance of the stunning stone carvings - unearthed in March last year - could turn out to be so far-reaching as to rewrite the history of the Roman occupation in Scotland.

When discovered during a revamp at Lewisvale Park, the stones were so brittle that experts were unable to analyse them conclusively. Only the backs and sides were able to be viewed until now when it became safe to inspect them fully.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Roman Ninth Legion's mysterious loss

The disappearance of Rome's Ninth Legion has long baffled historians, but could a brutal ambush have been the event that forged the England-Scotland border, asks archaeologist Dr Miles Russell, of Bournemouth University.

One of the most enduring legends of Roman Britain concerns the disappearance of the Ninth Legion.

The theory that 5,000 of Rome's finest soldiers were lost in the swirling mists of Caledonia, as they marched north to put down a rebellion, forms the basis of a new film, The Eagle, but how much of it is true?

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

What did the Romans ever do for us (if they didn't build our roads)?

Archaeologists have found Britain's oldest properly engineered road, and the discovery could change the way we look at a key aspect of British history. Now, many of the country's key A roads – long thought to be Roman in origin – could now turn out to be substantially more British than scholars had thought.

The discoveries, in Shropshire, suggest that ancient Britons were building finely engineered, well-cambered and skilfully metalled roads before the Emperor Claudius's conquering legions ever set foot in Britain in the middle of the 1st century BC.

"The traditional view has often been that Iron Age Britons were unsophisticated people who needed to be civilised by the Romans," said Tim Malim, an archaeologist from the UK environmental planning consultancy, SLR, who co-directed the Shropshire excavation. "It's an attitude that largely has its roots in the late 19th century when Britain saw itself very much as the new Rome, bringing civilisation to the rest of the world." The Shropshire road was built, the archaeologists believe, up to 100 years before the Romans conquered Britain. The archaeologists suspect that the road may have been 40 miles long.

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Reunited after 2,000 years apart: The Pompeii husband and wife whose tomb was buried by Vesuvius

Nearly 2,000 years after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius broke apart a tomb inscription for a husband and wife, the couple's names have been reunited with the recovery of a missing marble fragment.

Pompeii, which had existed for 700 years, was snuffed out in just 24 hours when Vesuvius erupted on the morning of August 24, 79 A.D.
The volcano began spewing ash, mud and noxious gases without warning and a 12-mile high black cloud from the volcano blocked out the sun.

Now marble fragments from a tomb smashed apart and buried during the eruption have finally been joined together, uniting the names of the couple 2,000 years later.

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Crosby Garrett Roman helmet find prompts national treasure debate

Frustration surrounding the sale of a Roman helmet unearthed in Cumbria could be set to influence changes to how treasures are declared.

There was disappointment in the county when the uniquely well-preserved bronze mask was sold at auction to a mystery private buyer.

Historians at Carlisle’s Tullie House Museum launched a publicly-backed Keep It In Cumbria fundraising campaign and bid up to £1.7 million for the helmet. It sold for £2m.

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Northumberland's Vindolanda centre gets £6.3m revamp

A major tourist attraction in Northumberland has reopened to the public after a £6.3m revamp.

Vindolanda and the adjoining Roman Army Museum on Hadrian's Wall near Hexham, is home to the oldest surviving handwritten tablets in Britain.

New additions include an education centre and revamped galleries.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Archaeological dig uncovers Roman activity near Stroud

A study has begun into items found in an archaeological dig near Stroud.

The excavation at a site at Ebley Road in Stonehouse has revealed evidence of some of the earliest Roman activity known in the Stroud Valleys.

A large rectangular enclosure dating back to the 1st Century was found and more than a dozen human skeletons were unearthed from it at the end 2010.

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Friday, March 4, 2011

Roman hoard on show

A NEW exhibition will open at Rutland County Museum on Wednesday.

The Hallaton Hoard touring exhibition includes a selection of items found at one of the most important Iron Age sites in Britain.

In 2000, members of Hallaton Fieldwork Group came across Roman pottery, silver and gold coins and the remains of an ornately decorated Roman parade helmet in a field outside their village in southeast Leicestershire.

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Roman coin hoard found in north Suffolk to be auctioned

The 197 coins were found by Norman Howard and John Halles in a field in north Suffolk over April and May 2009.

Known as the North Suffolk Hoard the Roman denarii date from between 2nd century BC to 1st century AD and may have belonged to a retired Roman soldier.

The coins are to be auctioned by London specialist coin auctioneers Morton & Eden on June 9 at Sotheby’s and it is estimated the collection could lead to at least a £7,500 windfall for Mr Howard and Mr Halles and the farmer whose land the coins were found on.

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Academic helps ensure Roman film is correct

A NEW historical epic film about a lost Roman legion has the stamp of North East expertise.

The $25m movie The Eagle, inspired by Rosemary Sutcliff’s 1954 novel The Eagle of the Ninth, opens in Britain on March 25.

And the film’s academic adviser is Newcastle University Roman expert Lindsay Allason-Jones.

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Somerset Roman mosaic revealed . . . for the second time in 2,000 years

One of the largest and most spectacular Roman mosaic floors ever found in Britain has been uncovered for only the second time in 2,000 years.

The 4th century mosaic attracted worldwide attention in October 2001 when resident George Caton unexpectedly discovered it while digging a new road on his family farm.

It was then covered with soil and turf to protect it from the elements.

But a section of the 40ft by 21ft floor has now been excavated and exposed again to mark the 10th anniversary of the discovery.

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

More parts of Roman fort revealed

PARTS of a Roman fortress archaeologists believe have never been seen before have been uncovered in a Welsh town.

The Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust carried out a dig at the site of a Roman fort in Neath as part of plans to establish new buildings for Dwr y Felin Comprehensive School.

Richard Lewis, head of projects at the trust, said: “It’s certainly of high importance in Wales and the UK because nobody has been able to expose as large an area as we have.”

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Roman Cavalry Mask Found

A citizen in the island province of Gotland has submitted a Roman cavalry-officer's helmet mask to the County Archaeologist. It is said to have been in the family for some time. The state of the piece shows that it can't be from a ploughed field, which makes it unlikely to be a recent metal-detector find.

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Roman find on Cumbrian farm stuns visiting archaeologist

A freelance archaeologist and his wife came face to face with a chunk of unique Roman history as they walked across a Wigton farm.

Karl James Langford, 36, and his wife Lisa, 43, are over the moon with their chance discovery of a sandstone fragment which still bears part of a Roman inscription.

The couple had gone with their two children – a boy aged two and a five-month-old girl – to visit the remnant of the Maglona Roman fort near Wigton last week when Lisa spotted the stone on the ground. It had been exposed by a heavy rain storm.

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