Monday, December 21, 2020

A mystery woman dressed in silk and gold found buried under the London streets was from the elite of the Roman Empire, researchers say

An artist's reconstruction of the burial of the Spitalfields Roman woman. 
Museum of London Archaeology

    A woman who lived in the 4th century AD and was buried in a stone sarcophagus under a market in London, England, was part of Rome's elite, researchers have said. 

    The woman was first discovered among rows of graves in March 1999 under London's Spitalfields market.

    While the researchers were aware that she came from a lavish background, recently published books revealed the extent of her wealth. 

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Thursday, December 10, 2020

Radiocarbon dating revealed mosaic at Chedworth Roman Villa was designed and created in the fifth century

Britain's 5th Century mosaic

Archaeologists have discovered Britain's first known 5th Century mosaic at a Roman villa in Gloucestershire.

Radiocarbon dating revealed a mosaic at Chedworth Roman Villa was designed and created in the middle of the fifth century.

This shows sophisticated life continued within the luxury mansion decades after Britain ceased to be part of the Roman Empire and had entered the Dark Ages.

Previously, it had generally been believed that all towns and villas were largely abandoned and fell into decay following the economic crash at the end of the fourth century.

Chedworth is one of the largest Roman villas known in the country and one of the best-preserved, with 35 exposed rooms and significant features including fine mosaics.

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Stunning dark ages mosaic found at Roman villa in Cotswolds

An archaeologist works on the mosaic at Chedworth Roman villa. 
Photograph: Stephen Haywood/National Trust

Fifth-century discovery suggests break with Rome did not cause steep decline in living standards for all

Life at the start of the dark ages in Britain is generally thought of as a pretty uncomfortable time, an era of trouble and strife with the departure of Roman rulers resulting in economic hardship and cultural stagnation.

But a stunning discovery at the Chedworth Roman villa in the Cotswolds suggests that some people at least managed to maintain a rich and sophisticated lifestyle.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2020

'Mystery' pit skeleton found during Bishop's Stortford digs

The skull and collarbone of the body had collapsed into the remains of its ribs, while the rest of the body fell into the pit

A skeleton discovered leaning against the sides of a pit with its legs outstretched is "a little mystery", an archaeologist has said.

The find was made during an excavation at Whittington Way, Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire, along with Bronze Age and Roman burials.

Project manager Louise Moan said the site had evidently been "a sacred place" for centuries.

The skeleton was one of hundreds of finds from two digs in the town.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Pompeii: Dig uncovers remains of rich man and slave killed by Vesuvius

 The discovery was made in a villa on the outskirts of the ancient Roman city (EPA)

Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of two men who died in the volcanic eruption that destroyed the ancient Roman city of Pompeii nearly 2,000 years ago.

One was probably a man of high status, and the other his slave, officials at the Pompeii archaeological park said.

They "were perhaps seeking refuge" from the eruption "when they were swept away", director Massimo Osanna added.

Pompeii was engulfed by a volcanic eruption from Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.

The eruption buried Pompeii in ash, freezing the city and its residents in time, and making it a rich source for archaeologists.

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 Au Pègue, une équipe d'archéologues de l'Inrap fouille une domus dont elle a mis au jour le portique et une pièce d'apparat décorée d'une grande mosaïque à motifs géométriques, ainsi que des espaces dévolus à l'activité artisanale et plusieurs aménagements hydrauliques.

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