Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Dutch archaeologists have recently completed the rescue excavation of a unique treasure hoard dating to the beginning of the 5th century AD, from a field in Limburg. The hoard partially consists of a combination of gold coins and pieces of silver tableware which had been deliberately cut up (hacksilver).

The complete hoard was shown at a press conference on Friday, April 25 in Limburg Museum (Venlo) where archaeologists highlighted the significance of the find as a key piece of evidence for our understanding of the final phase of Roman rule in the Netherlands, around the year AD 411. Placing the treasure into perspective within the political and military chaos at the time, why was the precious and richly decorated Roman silver tableware cut into pieces and buried?

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In search of Roman writing tablets at Vindolanda fort

Archaeologists taking part in the summer excavation programme at Vindolanda Roman Fort, on Hadrian’s Wall say they are hopeful the dig will yield more examples of the famous Vindolanda tablets discovered at the site in 1973. 

Excavations at Vindolanda Roman Fort, just south of Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland  (Northern England) have brought to light more than 1600 tablets to date  [Credit: © The Vindolanda Trust] 

The wooden leaf tablets with ink text are the oldest surviving instances of hand written script in Britain, containing everything from military directives to party invites revealing the day-to-day life of Romans on and around Hadrian's Wall. 

The five-month dig at the important Roman site, which boasts a complex of at least nine forts and settlements at the heart of the wall, has already yielded the remains of late 4th century and post-Roman buildings, glass beads, stone counters and an intriguing rusty clump of chain mail.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Buried city of Pompeii unveils three new houses

There is new real state to be seen in the Pompeii, Italy, archaeological site, with three restored houses open to the public.

POMPEII , Italy, April 17 (UPI) -- In time for Easter tourists, three additional houses in the ancient city of Pompeii, Italy, buried in a volcano eruption in 79 A.D., were opened Thursday.

Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini inaugurated the three restored houses, or domus, in a ceremony at the celebrated archeological site. The houses were formerly occupied by the families of Marcus Lucretius Fronto, Romulus and Remus and Trittolemo, the office of Pompeii’s archeological superintendent said.

Superintendent Massimo Osanna described them as “aristocratic houses.”

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Ancient Rome was bigger than previously thought, archaeologists find

Archaeologists have discovered that the Ancient Roman neighbourhood of Ostia was far bigger than previously thought, extending over the River Tiber

British scientists have discovered a new section of the boundary wall of the river port of ancient Rome which they say proves that the city was much larger than previously estimated Photo: PA

British scientists have discovered a new section of the boundary wall of the river port of ancient Rome which they say proves that the city was much larger than previously estimated.
Researchers from the universities of Southampton and Cambridge uncovered the extra section of the wall at Ostia while conducting a survey of an area between the port and another Roman port called Portus - both of which are about 30 miles from the Italian capital.
Scholars had thought the Tiber formed the northern edge of Ostia, but this new research, using geophysical survey techniques to examine the site, has shown that Ostia's city wall continued on the other side of the river.
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Ancient Roman theatre discovered in Florence

(ANSA) - Florence, April 14 - Archaeologists digging up the remains of an ancient Roman theatre discovered under the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence have found a "vomitorium" or corridor used by as many as 15,000 theatre goers in the first and second centuries A.D., city officials say.

    The latest find at the site in the centre of the Tuscan capital includes the original painted stone pavements along which spectators used to walk from the outer circle of the theatre to the orchestra pit, which already had been excavated during previous digs. Also discovered were well shafts going as deep as more than 10 metres below the current surface of Florence, providing water and waste disposal for the theatre, as well as remains of the foundations of the walls used to build the Salone dei Cinquecento.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Leicester dig unearths Iron Age mint and Roman tile with dog paw prints

unearthed: The Roman tile with possible dog paw prints

Archaeologists believe they might have stumbled across an Iron Age mint which produced gold and silver coins for the coveted Hallaton Treasure.
The dig at Blackfriars, in the city, unearthed coin mould fragments which, combined with evidence from previous excavations, seems to confirm the site was a 2,000-year-old Corieltauvi tribe mint.
The Corieltauvi controlled most of the East Midlands, with Leicester as its capital.
Archaeologists believe the Blackfriars site could have produced some of the 5,000 silver and gold coins found in 2000, near the Leicestershire village of Hallaton.

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Satellites and sensors to halt crumbling of Italy's Pompeii

ROME (Reuters) - The ruins of ancient Pompeii will be monitored by satellites and sensors under an agreement with Italian defense and technology group Finmeccanica to try to stop theUNESCO world heritage site from crumbling.

The state-controlled group will help train staff and donate its technology for free for three years in an investment worth up to 2 million euros ($2.75 million), after which the equipment will be left to the restoration project.

Regular collapses of walls and houses in the treasured Roman town that was covered by ash in a volcanic eruption in 79 AD have caused an international outcry and increased pressure for an end to delays dogging a 105-million-euro restoration project part-funded by the European Union and launched last year.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Saudi royal family could pay for restoration of Roman monuments

Deal brokered by mayor of Rome could see Saudi Arabia provide millions of euros to restore neglected sites in exchange for loans of priceless artworks

The government in Riyadh have shown a particular interest in in the Emperor Augustus's mausoleum, a giant, circular structure located near the Tiber River Photo: Alamy

A training barracks used by Roman gladiators and the 2,000-year-old mausoleum of the Emperor Augustus could be restored with money from the Saudi royal family, in the latest effort by Italy to secure funding for its crumbling cultural heritage.
In a deal brokered by Ignazio Marino, the mayor of Rome, the Saudi royals are to provide millions of euros to pay for the restoration of some of the capital's neglected monuments.
The government in Riyadh has been presented with a dossier of nine historic sites to choose from, with greatest interest said to be in the Emperor Augustus's mausoleum, a giant, circular structure near the Tiber River that has been virtually abandoned for decades.
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