Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Swedish woman finds 2,000-year-old gold ring

A woman was left gobsmacked when she learned the gold ring she stumbled across in a field was 2,000 years old.

Swedish woman finds 2,000-year-old gold ring
The ring is made of Roman gold [Credit: Camilla Lundin]
 "I walk through that field several times a week. At first I thought it was one of the little rings we put around the chickens’ feet," Camilla Lundin, 51, told The Local. "I thought it was strange that it was so far away from home."

Lundin took the ring home and showed her husband, who also didn't believe it was anything special. But Lundin took a picture which she sent to her brother, who immediately told her it was a treasure.

"When he told me it was an ancient gold ring, it felt like a gift from the underworld," Lundin told The Local. "It was my magnificent ring. I didn’t want to give it up."

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Roman chamber tomb found in ancient Corinth

A well-preserved and ornately decorated underground Roman tomb, complete with vaults and wall paintings, was found in Corinth during works to extend the Corinth-Patras national road, archaeologists said on Wednesday. The find came to light a bit more than a year after the revealing of another ornate Roman tomb in the same location.

Roman chamber tomb found in ancient Corinth
The interior of the Roman chamber tomb from ancient Corinth
[Credit: Taxydromos]
Measuring 3.30m by 2.63m., the tomb has been initially dated to between the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, but may be earlier. It was entered from the south through a staircase decorated on either side with two ceramic tiles in deep relief, one showing a quadriga (four-horse chariot), and the other depicting a chariot pulled by dolphins next to a sea creature.  Inside, there were vaults over niches where ash urns were placed, and three larnaces (terracotta coffins) containing bones, oil lamps, bronze coins and pottery shards. One of the coffins was painted to depict bed covers. The interior of the tomb also contained very well-preserved wall paintings, depicting garlants, fruit and three figures, two men and a woman.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Roman child's coffin found in Leicestershire opened

Scientists have removed fragments of bone and a jet bead from inside a 1,700-year-old lead coffin. The experts have now opened and started examining the contents of the Roman casket, which was discovered beneath a field west of Hinckley by metal detectorists last month.

Roman child's coffin found in Leicestershire opened
Analysis of the coffin has shown that it was made from a single sheet
of lead and its corners had been sealed with molten lead
[Credit: Archaeology Warwickshire]
The casket, which is less than three feet long, is thought to contain the remains of the child of a rich Roman family.

The team of archaeologists and conservators from Archaeology Warwickshire and York University removed the damaged lid yesterday (MON) morning revealing a cavity filled with silt which had been washed into the coffin through cracks in the lining.

They then began the delicate task of removing layers of silt.

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'Roman child's coffin' opened for first time

A coffin dating back more than 1,600 years has been opened by scientists in a bid to learn more about life and death in Roman Britain.
Tests being carried out are expected to confirm later this week that it contains the remains of a child.
Made of lead, the coffin was discovered last month in a field in Witherley, west Leicestershire.
Scientists said they hoped it would reveal more about the culture of Roman Britain and even Romans' diets.
They had previously used an endoscope to probe inside the coffin, but said it was "almost entirely full of clay silt".
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Peterborough solar farm: Archaeologists unearth Roman finds

Roman pottery, evidence of a Roman settlement and "possibly Saxon" artefacts have been found at a proposed solar farm site near Peterborough.
The land at Newborough is being excavated ahead of a city council decision about the solar farm plan.
Richard O'Neill, from Wessex Archaeology, described the finds as "locally and regionally significant".
Work is expected to continue for three weeks, after which the council will consider the archaeologists' report.
Plans for the solar energy farm at three council-owned sites at Newborough, Morris Fen and America Farm were put on hold after English Heritage stepped in suggesting the area could be "nationally important".
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Roman statue found at underwater palace near Naples

Italian archaeologists on Thursday said they have recovered an ancient Roman marble statue spotted by a diver in an imperial palace that is now under water in the Bay of Naples.
"The discovery is significant and quite important for us because of the quality of the marble and the excellent workmanship of the sculpture," said Paolo Caputo, a local heritage official.
The statue is of a woman and was discovered in October just off the shore near the town of Baia in what is already an underwater archaeological park.
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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Archeologists get multi-million pound grant for Roman excavations

Prof Simon Keay

RESEARCHERS at Southampton University will be at the forefront of unearthing Europe’s Roman ports after securing a multi-million pound grant.
The university has been awarded £2.1 million by the European Research Council to study a large network of ports stretching from Turkey to Spain.
The Southampton team will be based at the university’s faculty of humanities and will work with others from across Europe on the Roman Mediterranean Ports project, which will see archaeologists carry out fieldwork at eight of the 31 ports, including Ephesus, Pitane and Kane in Turkey, Gades and Tarraco in Spain and Portus and Putroli in Italy.
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Pompeii workers say wall of ancient house crumbling

A portion of a wall in a house in the archaeological site at Pompeii is crumbling, a union said Monday.

Pompeii workers say wall of ancient house crumbling
Via dell'Abbondanza, Pompeii [Credit: Cameron Booth/flickr]
According to Antonio Pepe, CISL secretary at the excavation site, guards during a tour Monday morning in the area reported crumbling on the upper portion of a wall at a house in the via dell'Abbondanza.

A section about 80 centimetres, or 2.7 feet, long is involved, said Pepe.

Critics have complained that not enough is being done to preserve and protect the site, which has been plagued for decades by accusations of mismanagement and neglect.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Warwickshire archaeologists find Roman coffin in Witherley field, Leicestershire

A Warwickshire archaeology team has started the process of examining a suspected child coffin found in a field in the Leicestershire village of Witherley.

Metal detectorist, Chris Wright, pinpointed the coffin and immediately called in Leicestershire Country Council.

Senior planning archaeologist, Teresa Hawtin, approached Archaeology Warwickshire on behalf of Mr Wright, as specialist archaeological procedures were required. 

She was able to advise Mr Wright that the coffin could not be moved without Ministry of Justice approval.

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Exceptionally rare Roman statue unearthed in City of London building site

An “exceptional” Roman sculpture thought to have adorned the tomb of a wealthy man in the 1st or 2nd century AD has been found in the City of London, as archaeologists proclaim it the finest of its kind in the world.
The statue, which shows an eagle clasping a serpent in its beak, was found on the building site of a boutique hotel near Aldgate tube station, and will now go on display in the Museum of London.
Experts have hailed it as being among the finest Roman pieces ever discovered in Britain, and the best-preserved example of the eagle and snake motif in the world.
This statue, made from limestone from the Cotswolds, is believed to symbolise the struggle between good and evil, and triumph over death.
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Hi-tech explorers map Rome's ancient aqueduct

A speleo-archaeologist makes his way through a perfectly preserved tunnel section of the Acqua Claudia on the grounds of a Franciscan convent in Vicovaro 60km out of Rome. (Filippo Monteforte, AFP)

Vicovaro - Armed with laser rangefinders, GPS technology and remote control robots, a group of speleologists is completing the first ever mapping of the aqueducts of ancient Rome on archaeology's "final frontier".

They abseil down access wells and clamber through crevices to access the 11 aqueducts that supplied Rome, which still run for hundreds of kilometres underground and along stunning viaducts.

The mission of these "speleo-archaeologists" is to update the last above-ground map of the network compiled at the beginning of the 20th century by British Roman archaeologist Thomas Ashby.

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