Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Tiles ‘Fit for the Emperor’ Found in Roman Ruins Beneath English Cricket Club


The letters "IMP" stand for imperator, meaning the tile maker was "supplying tiles fit for the emperor" or "on the emperor's demands." Dot Boughton

Excavation of a Roman building on the grounds of a cricket club in the northern English city of Carlisle has yielded tiles with rare imperial stamps linked to Emperor Septimius Severus, reports Ted Peskett for the News & Star.

“The Romans would quite often stamp their tiles,” says archaeologist Frank Giecco, who is leading the dig for British firm Wardell Armstrong. “The legions would stamp tiles, the auxiliaries would stamp tiles; but this is the very top of the pile. This is the imperial court stamping the tile.”

Giecco says similar tiles have previously been found “in random places” across Carlisle. Since researchers discovered the ruined bathhouse in 2017, they’ve uncovered about a dozen of the tiles there, suggesting that the others also originated at the site.

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Monday, September 27, 2021

Amateur divers discover 'enormously valuable' hoard of Roman coins


Two amateur free divers have found one of the largest collections of Roman coins in Europe off the east coast of Spain.

Luis Lens and César Gimeno were diving off the island of Portitxol in Xàbia on August 24 when they found eight coins, before further dives by archaeologists returned another 45 coins, according to a press release from the University of Alicante on Tuesday.
Scientists from the university's Institute in Archaeology and Historical Heritage then analyzed the perfectly preserved coins, dating them to between the end of the 4th century and the beginning of the 5th century.
The coins were in such good condition that the inscriptions were legible, allowing the team to identify coins from the reign of a number of Roman emperors.

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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Ancient Roman road and dock discovered in Venice lagoon

A digital reconstruction of the Roman road submerged in the Venice lagoon, which seems to have been part of a road system in the Veneto region.
Photograph: A Calandriello and G D’Acunto/SWNS

Find could prove there were human settlements in area centuries before city was founded

The discovery of the remains of a Roman road and dock submerged in the Venice lagoon could prove there were permanent human settlements in the area centuries before Venice was founded, researchers say.

Scuba divers discovered what appeared to be paving stones beneath the lagoon in the 1980s, but only after more recent research were the relics confirmed to have formed part of a road system.

“After speaking to those who first found these stones in the 1980s, I understood that it was something significant that could be anthropic,” said Fantina Madricardo, a researcher at the Venice-based Institute of Marine Science (Ismar) whose study was published this week in the Scientific Reports journal.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Cock of the north: Roman stone-carved penis uncovered during Yorkshire archaeological dig

Roman stone-carved penis discovered near Catterick
(Northern Archaeological Associates)

A Roman stone-carved penis is one of thousands of artefacts discovered during half a decade of excavation work around the town of Catterick, it has been revealed.

The 11in phallus – complete with line of ejaculate – is believed to date back to the early years of the ancient empire’s occupation of Britain, which began in the first century AD.

It is among more than 62,000 historical objects unearthed during five years of archaeological digs undertaken as part of work to upgrade the A1 around the North Yorkshire town – which was founded by the Romans.

Other treasures include a 2,000-year-old pistachio nut – the oldest ever found in Britain – as well as pottery, incense burners, brooches and works of art which were probably brought from the Mediterranean.

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Wednesday, July 7, 2021

2,000-Year-Old Sarcophagus Found in England Reveals Roman Burial Practices

The north-facing orientation of the grave suggests it was a pagan burial.
(L-P Archaeology via Bath & North East Somerset Council)

Archaeologists in the city of Bath in southwest England have discovered an approximately 2,000-year-old Roman sarcophagus containing two bodies. The limestone coffin holds the preserved remains of one person in a prone position, with the partial remains of a second individual laid at their feet, the Bath Echo reports.

The north-facing orientation of the grave suggests it was a pagan burial. Nearby, researchers found a small pot containing food remains, as well as artifacts including small red and blue glass beads, possibly left as votive offerings. These types of donations to the gods were common in ancient Roman religion and represented a gift of thanks or payment, according to the Oxford Classical Dictionary.

“This is an amazing find,” says Sylvia Warman, science advisor for Historic England, in a statement. “Although several Roman stone coffins have been found around Bath in the past, none have been excavated and recorded by professional archaeologists using modern methods until today.”

Jesse Holth of ARTnews reports that the grave was buried beneath the grounds of Sydney Gardens, a Georgian pleasure garden once frequented by Jane Austen. Workers renovating and landscaping the garden for the Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Sydney Gardens Project discovered a Roman wall at the border of Bathwick Cemetery. When a team from L-P Archaeology excavated the site, they found the newly revealed burial. The archaeologists also uncovered cremated remains—the only known example of a cremation burial at the cemetery.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Ancient Roman Sarcophagus Containing Two Skeletons Unearthed in Bath, England

 An ancient Roman sarcophagus containing two burials, unearthed at Sydney Gardens, Bath, England, 2021.
Courtesy the Bath & North East Somerset Council

A 2,000-year-old stone coffin with two skeletons inside has been discovered on the grounds of Sydney Gardens in Bath, England. The Bath & North East Somerset Council announced the find on Monday, calling it a “rare glimpse into local burial practices” during the Roman era.

Sydney Gardens, once an 18th century Georgian “pleasure garden,” frequented by famed novelist Jane Austen, had been undergoing renovations and landscaping when a Roman wall was uncovered on the border of Bathwick Cemetery.

As a team from L-P Archaeology began to excavate the site, they discovered the 6½-foot-long coffin. The sarcophagus, made of limestone from the region, held two sets of human remains with one partial skeleton laying at the other’s feet, and faced north, indicating it was likely a pagan burial.

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Saturday, June 26, 2021

Archaeologists excavate King's Quarter redevelopment to find Roman artefacts

Archaeologists have descended on the £85million King's Quarter redevelopment after discoveries were made below the ground.

They're hoping to find ancient Roman artefacts, underneath the ground being developed in to digital hub The Forum.

Last year, remnants of Whitefriars, a 13th century friary founded by the Carmelites, one of the Roman Catholic Church’s four great mendicant (living by charity) orders, was discovered underneath a city centre car park.

Whitefriars was one of several important religious houses in medieval Gloucester along with Llanthony Priory, the Blackfriars and the Greyfriars. 

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Gladiator arena from Roman era unearthed in Turkey

 An aerial view shows the Roman-era arena poking out of a hilly area in Mastaura, Turkey. (Image credit: Courtesy of Assoc. Prof. Mehmet Umut Tuncer/Aydın Provincial Director of Culture and Tourism)

Archaeologists in Turkey have discovered the remains of a "magnificent" Roman-era arena, where up to 20,000 spectators likely cheered and jeered as they watched gladiator matches and wild animal fights, the excavators said. 

The 1,800-year-old arena was discovered on the rolling hills of the ancient city of Mastaura, in Turkey's western Aydın Province. Its large central area, where "bloody shows" once took place, has since filled with earth and vegetation over the centuries.

"Most of the amphitheater is under the ground," and the part that is visible is largely covered by "shrubs and wild trees," Mehmet Umut Tuncer, the Aydın Culture and Tourism provincial director and project survey leader Sedat Akkurnaz, an archaeologist at Adnan Menderes University in Turkey, told Live Science in a translated email.

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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Roman stately home unearthed in Scarborough 'potential world first'

The complex of buildings include a circular room and a bath house

A Roman villa unearthed on a building site has been described as potentially "the first of its kind" ever found.

The remains of the large "stately home" and bath house were found on a site in Scarborough, in North Yorkshire.

Historic England said the type of layout has "never been seen in Britain" and may be the first example "within the whole former Roman Empire".

Inspector of ancient monuments Keith Emerick said it was "more than we ever dreamed of discovering".

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Roman site uncovered in Scarborough hailed as first of its kind in UK

The Roman remains discovered at Eastfield, Scarborough, are on the site of a new housing estate being constructed by Keepmoat Homes.
Photograph: MAP Archaeological Practice

When developers broke ground on the outskirts of Scarborough, they were hoping to build a housing estate ideal for first-time buyers, families and professionals, with en suites, off-street parking and integrated kitchens galore. But before shovels had even hit earth, they found someone else had got there first: the Romans.

The remains of a Roman settlement believed to be the first of its kind discovered in Britain – and possibly the whole Roman empire – has been uncovered near the North Yorkshire seaside town.

The find might have caused a headache for the developer Keepmoat Homes but has sparked excitement among experts, with Historic England describing it as “easily the most important Roman discovery of the last decade”.

The large complex of buildings – approximately the size of two tennis courts – includes a cylindrical tower structure with a number of rooms leading from it and a bathhouse. As excavations and analysis continue, historians believe the site may have been the estate of a wealthy landowner, which could have later become a religious sanctuary or even a high-end “stately home-cum-gentleman’s club”.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Archaeologists baffled by mystifying feature at Hadrian's Wall: 'Don't know why'

The Roman Empire's conquest of Britain began almost 2,000 years ago. It changed the face of the country forever. Roman culture, food, art, as well as the myriad religions that were practiced across the Empire were brought to the island's shores.

To occupy and cordon off swathes of land the Romans erected forts and walls around Britain, many of which survive today.

One of the most notable pieces is Hadrian's Wall.

Stretching 73 miles from the banks of the River Tyne near the North Sea, all the way west to the Solway Firth near the Irish Sea, work on the Wall started in 122 AD.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Massive Roman Villa From 4th Century With Huge 60ft Mosaic Discovered In Southern Spain

The Roman villa was discovered in the site of El Altillo in Jaen province of southern Spain. (Universidad Jaen/Real Press)

A massive 1,600-year-old Roman villa measuring over 20,000 square feet was discovered in southern Spain.

The villa boasts a huge mosaic measuring over 60 feet long.

The experts think that the villa probably belonged to a rich family that owned numerous farms, which is why they had enough capital to afford such a luxurious mosaic.

The excavations took place at the archeologic site of El Altillo, located in the municipality of Rus, in the southern Spanish province of Jaen, in the Andalusia region, after a few remains from the mosaic were unearthed.

Dr. Jose Luis Serrano Pena, co-director of the Villa El Altillo excavation project, along with Marcos Soto Civantos, decided to do a full-scale dig because the ancient remains were at risk of being destroyed by farmworkers in the area or of being stolen.

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Curule chair found in Roman funeral pyre

The charred remains of a curule chair have been recovered from a 1st century A.D. funeral pyre in the town of Épagny-Metz-Tessy in southeastern France. Archaeologists discovered the remains of two Roman funeral pyres in a salvage excavation before construction of new residential buildings.

The first pyre is the oldest of the two. It contains the remains of a young child between five and eight years old at time of death. The pyre was furnished with a great abundance of goods, including 17 ceramic vessels, 10 bronze vases and four glass vessels containing the remains of food offerings (lentils, beans, pork, rooster, wine). It was the child’s final banquet, and it was a grand one. Other goods were use items — three copper alloy strigils, bone game tokens — and furnishings (the funeral bed, boxes).

Monday, March 22, 2021

Time Team to dig for Roman villa at Fiennes’ castle

The nation’s favourite history programme Time Team is back on digital platforms - and the first dig will be an enormous Roman villa on the Broughton Estate near Banbury.

The hands-on team of expert archaeologists will be unearthing a building thought to be as large as Buckingham Palace.

There may be mosaics, a bath house and even temples. It is thought it could be one of the biggest discovered in recent times.

The Broughton Estate is owned by Martin Fiennes – a cousin of actors Joseph and Ralph – who coincidentally played archaeologist Basil Brown in the recent Netflix movie The Dig.

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Sunday, March 21, 2021

Roman highway uncovered between Antwerp and West Flanders

Archaeological excavations in Adegem near Maldegem, West Flanders, have uncovered traces of a Roman road linking Antwerp to an important Roman camp. The existence of the road was known, but now for the first time there is archaeological evidence.

The Roman road between Antwerp and the West Flemish municipality of Oudenburg has been discovered during archaeological excavations carried out as part of the construction of a supermarket. The archaeologists started last week and soon found traces of the ancient highway. "The site is right next to the N9 route and we expected to find something here,” said archaeologist Johan Hoorne. “The fact that it really is there is very cool."

"It was one of the most important routes in the wider region," Hoorne continued. "It was a dirt road to Antwerp that ran over the sandy ridge of Oudenburg." In Adegem, two important Roman roads cross. There was the north-south connection that runs from Kerkhove, just over the provincial border in West Flanders, to Aardenburg in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. And there was also the road between Oudenburg and Antwerp that has now been uncovered. "The Roman roads in the sandy region are not well known because they were not laid out in stone. But that doesn't mean they weren't important," added Hoorne.

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Stone anchors found in River Wear could reveal Roman port

The five stone anchors found in the river suggest the vessels could have been part of a trading network

A trove of Roman artefacts has been uncovered in the River Wear which could cast "significant" new light on life in the area nearly 2,000 years ago.

The find, in North Hylton, Sunderland, includes five stone anchors, thought to be the first time they have been discovered in a river.

One theory still to be examined is that it may have been home to a small port.

Underwater archaeologist Gary Bankhead said he could not "over-emphasize" the importance of the discovery.

Although a dam is known to have existed in the area since the Victorian times, if theories are confirmed it would be only the second such port ever discovered in Britain.

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Thursday, March 11, 2021

Gloucester: Experts to study Roman wall found in city centre

Further work is due to take place at the site to uncover any further details about the "really interesting structure" GLOUCESTER CITY COUNCIL

Archaeologists preparing for a revamp of part of Gloucester city centre have uncovered a Roman wall.

The limestone structure was found 2.1m (6.8ft) below ground level as part of work for the King's Square redevelopment.

Experts say that it is aligned 45 degrees to the city's Roman walls and that it was probably an internal corner tower.

Further work is due to take place at the site to excavate further.

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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Archaeologists baffled by 'mystery cult' discovery at ancient UK Vindolanda siteArchaeologists baffled by 'mystery cult' discovery at ancient UK Vindolanda site

Archaeology: The mystery cult was discovered within the ancient Vindolanda fort (Image: GETTY)

The Roman conquest of Britain began almost 2,000 years ago under the leadership of Emperor Claudius. Soldiers from present-day Italy, Spain and France travelled from the continent and piled onto the island. They brought with them a whole range of foreign foodstuffs, culture, music, religion, as well as art.

Much of this has since left the UK.

Some historical residue of the Romans does remain, mostly in the form of ancient forts and structures.

Perhaps the best-known relic from the Empire's time in Britain is Hadrian's Wall.

A mammoth 73 miles long, it spans from the banks of the River Tyne near the North Sea, to the Solway Firth near the Irish Sea.

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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Archaeologists Uncover First Recorded Tier List in Ancient Rome

ROME — After reconstructing an ancient piece of pottery featuring various Roman gladiators categorized by their perceived strength, ability, and matchup spread, a team of archaeologists in Italy determined that they had unearthed the earliest example of a recorded tier list.

“It’s generally accepted that gladiator fights existed mostly to distract and placate the Roman citizens,” said lead archaeologist David Bradford. “Our discoveries this week suggest this distraction extended far beyond the coliseum, with some Romans wasting hours upon days debating whether such-and-such fighter was top 5 or just top 10. It’s incredible how much energy these ancient Romans wasted on these debates when they could have been working on improving their skills instead.”

Bradford’s team also discovered a series of broken tablets etched with the discussions and debates that lead to the creation of this tier list, which they have come to refer to as “the Smashed Boards.” Thanks to modern reconstruction techniques, many of these comments were able to be translated and preserved in a digital archive.

“There is no way Pollentius is A tier,” read one Smashed Board comment. “His spear’s range gives him the edge against heavy fighters, but he has a losing matchup against faster gladiators like Audacius, or Mordax the Swift. He’s B tier at best.”

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Pompeii: Archaeologists unveil ceremonial chariot discovery

Experts believe the chariot may have been used in ceremonies such as weddings HANDOUT VIA EPA

Archaeologists in Italy have unveiled a ceremonial chariot they discovered near the ancient Roman city of Pompeii.

The four-wheeled carriage was found near a stable where three horses were uncovered back in 2018.

Experts believe it was likely used in festivities and parades, with the find described as "exceptional" and "in an excellent state of preservation".

Pompeii, engulfed by a volcanic eruption from Mount Vesuvius in AD79, is an archaeological treasure trove.

The volcanic eruption buried the city in a thick layer of ash, preserving many of its residents and buildings.

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Archaeologists find unique ceremonial vehicle near Pompeii

A detail of the decoration of a chariot, with its iron elements, bronze decorations and mineralised wooden remains, that was found in Civita Giuliana, north of Pompeii. Photograph: AP

Archaeologists have unearthed a unique Roman ceremonial carriage from a villa just outside Pompeii, the city buried in a volcanic eruption in 79 AD.

The almost perfectly preserved four-wheeled carriage, made of iron, bronze and tin, was found near the stables of an ancient villa at Civita Giuliana, about 700 metres north of the walls of ancient Pompeii and close to where the remains of three horses were unearthed in 2018, including one still in its harness.

Massimo Osanna, the outgoing director of the Pompeii archaeological site, said the carriage was the first of its kind discovered in the area, which had so far yielded functional vehicles used for transport and work, but not for ceremonies.

“This is an extraordinary discovery that advances our understanding of the ancient world,” Osanna said, adding that the carriage would have accompanied festive moments for the community, such as parades and processions.

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Saturday, February 20, 2021

The Bredon Hills Roman Coin Hoard, Birmingham Museums: a window onto grassroots archaeology

Birmingham Museums On Demand (Photo: Press)

The story of the discovery of a stash of 3,800 Roman coins is part of a paid-for programme of talks available online from this month

Aside from ring pulls and rusty nails, metal detectorists in England and Wales each year unearth quantities of old coins, with the Bredon Hills Hoard one of the most impressive amateur hauls of recent times.

The story of this stash of 3,800 Roman coins, discovered in the Worcestershire countryside in 2011, launches Birmingham Museums On Demand, a paid-for programme of talks available online from this month.

In fact, Victoria Allnatt’s talk focuses on the role of Finds Liaison Officers like herself, archaeologists whose job it is to record and value artefacts found by members of the public while out walking, or digging the garden, but most often while using a metal detector.

These archaeologists work under the auspices of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, set up by the British Museum and National Museum Wales in response to the 1996 Treasure Act, to formalise procedures for people who unexpectedly strike gold.

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Thursday, February 18, 2021

A14 upgrade: Ancient relic engraved with giant phallus found by archaeologists

An ancient millstone engraved with a giant penis was found by A14 archaeologists 
(Image: Highways England)

An ancient relic engraved with a giant penis has been found by archaeologists working on the A14 upgrade project.

The team responsible for examining the finds unearthed on Britain’s biggest roads project were shocked to find a 2,000-year-old millstone decorated with an enhanced phallus.

"The phallus was seen as an important image of strength and virility in the Roman world," explained Steve Sherlock, Highways England’s Archaeology Lead for the A14.

He added that Roman fighters would often wear good-luck charms engraved with penises before entering battle.

The millstone, traditionally used for grinding grains, was recently pieced together by archaeologists MOLA Headland Infrastructure.

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Saturday, February 13, 2021

Arena similar to Rome’s Colosseum discovered in western Turkey

An unearthed section of the amphitheater in the Nazilli district of Aydın province, western Turkey, Feb. 12, 2021. (DHA Photo)

Archaeologists have unearthed an “arena,” or rather, an amphitheater, resembling Rome’s world-famous Colosseum, in Turkey's western province of Aydın. Authorities say the structure, which is mostly buried underground, is a unique example of Eastern Roman architecture in Turkey.

The structure, whose outer walls were dug up, was introduced to reporters at Mastaura, an ancient city in Aydın’s Nazilli district.

Umut Tuncer, head of the Directorate of Culture and Tourism in Aydın, said 80% of Mastaura was buried under soil over time, but even the small part uncovered by archaeologists was enough “to demonstrate the spectacular features of the city.” “This might be the only arena preserved in its entirety here in Turkey. The preservation was maintained as it was buried for years. The basic outline is visible now and we plan to unearth more this spring,” he said.

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Thursday, February 4, 2021

Archaeologists discover friends of Caesars inside Vatican City

Marble funerary shrine with the four-year old child Tiberius Natronius Venustus.
(photo credit: VATICAN MUSEUM)

So far, 250 magnificent burials of the Roman elite have been unearthed inside the walls of the Vatican City.

New burials discovered inside the Roman necropolis of Santa Rosa, standing under what is now Vatican City, have shed light on burials that housed the servants and slaves of the Roman Caesars.

So far, 250 magnificent burials of the Roman elite, servants and freed slaves from the Julio-Claudian era to the times of Emperor Constantin have been unearthed inside the walls of the Vatican City, revealing the life of the rich and poor in Rome.

The Roman necropolis stood on the current hill of the Vatican along the ancient Via Triumphalis. Until now, only a small area of about 1,000 square meters has been investigated by archaeologists.

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Archaeology dig at Caernarfon Castle offers new history insight

The year-long dig began in January 2019 CADW

The largest archaeological investigation at Caernarfon Castle has uncovered clues that will change understanding of the World Heritage Site's early history, experts say.

Among the excavation's finds included sherds of 1st century Roman pottery along with tiles and animal bone.

Researchers also uncovered clues to the history of the site before the castle.

Ian Miller, from University of Salford, said it has a "huge impact on the way we understand the history of the site".

The castle, which staged the investiture of Prince Charles in 1969, was built by Edward I in 1283 on the site of what was once thought to be a Roman fort.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Archaeology breakthrough as 'dark earth' at Vindolanda site discovers rich 'secrets'

Vindolanda: The ancient site held 'dark earth' which pointed to untold secrets
(Image: GETTY)

ARCHAEOLOGISTS were stunned by a patch of "dark earth that held untold secrets" about Vindolanda's rich post-Roman history.

The Roman Empire's conquest of Britain got underway nearly 2,000 years ago. Emperor Claudius led the charge, a move that would alter the path of this island's history forever. Invasion began slowly at first, with the number of Romans entering gradually increasing over the centuries.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Evidence of Roman reprisals in Essex?

More than 17 roundhouses were uncovered within a defensive enclosure at Cressing, near Braintree in Essex. CREDIT: Oxford Archaeology East

A recently revealed Iron Age settlement in Cressing, near Braintree in Essex, appears to have been almost completely destroyed during the second half of the 1st century AD. Dating to around the time of the Boudican uprising of AD 60/61, could this be evidence of Roman reprisals against local groups who had supported the rebel queen’s campaign?

The site of the settlement was excavated last year by Oxford Archaeology East in advance of residential development by Countryside Properties. Located on a prominent ridge overlooking the Brain Valley, the settlement’s position, along with some of the artefacts recovered from the site, suggest that it may have been of some regional importance during the late Iron Age and early Roman period.

A large enclosure appears to have been first constructed during the late 1st century BC, with more than 17 roundhouses built within its defences. The gullies of some of these roundhouses were over half a metre deep and probably would have enclosed buildings up to 15m in diameter. Aligning with the central roundhouse was a large avenue-like entrance leading from the enclosure.

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Monday, February 1, 2021

Climate Change In Antiquity: Mass Emigration Due To Water Scarcity

Buried forever by the desert: ruins of Soknopaiou Nesos, a village in the Fayum region
of Egypt that was lost in late antiquity [Credit: Bruno Bazzani/WikiCommons]

The absence of monsoon rains at the source of the Nile was the cause of migrations and the demise of entire settlements in the late Roman province of Egypt. This demographic development has been compared with environmental data for the first time by professor of ancient history, Sabine Huebner of the University of Basel - leading to a discovery of climate change and its consequences.

The oasis-like Faiyum region, roughly 130 km south-west of Cairo, was the breadbasket of the Roman Empire. Yet at the end of the third century CE, numerous formerly thriving settlements there declined and were ultimately abandoned by their inhabitants. Previous excavations and contemporary papyri have shown that problems with field irrigation were the cause. Attempts by local farmers to adapt to the dryness and desertification of the farmland - for example, by changing their agricultural practices - are also documented.

Volcanic eruption and monsoon rains

Basel professor of ancient history Sabine R. Huebner has now shown in the journal Studies in Late Antiquity that changing environmental conditions were behind this development. Existing climate data indicates that the monsoon rains at the headwaters of the Nile in the Ethiopian Highlands suddenly and permanently weakened. The result was lower high-water levels of the river in summer. Evidence supporting this has been found in geological sediment from the Nile Delta, Faiyum and the Ethiopian Highlands, which provides long-term climate data on the monsoons and the water level of the Nile.

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Sunday, January 31, 2021

Piercebridge Roman Bridge

The remains at Piercebridge are where Dere Street, the famous Roman road, crossed the River Tees. This was achieved by passing over a large bridge that allowed the road to link York with Corbridge, near Hadrian’s Wall. The bridge’s remains now reside on the south bank of the river and were discovered in 1972.

The current remains of the bridge appear to be the second reiteration of a Roman bridge constructed at this location. The bridge is only part of a much larger Roman site, which included a fort and various settlements. The ruins of the bridge provided archeologists with valuable evidence on the engineering prowess of the Romans. 

Only the lowest parts of the bridge remain, there is however a clearly recognizable abutment at one end of the old bridge. It includes some metal ties that held the stones together.  

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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Puppy and toddler found in 2,000-year-old burial

The burial pit holding the remains of the toddler, dog and grave goods measured about 3.2 feet (1 meter) by 6.5 feet (2 m).
(Image: © Denis Gliksman/Inrap)

Around Jesus' time about 2,000 years ago, a toddler in Roman-era Europe was laid to rest in a burial containing a funeral banquet and a pet dog wearing a belled collar, according to the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP). Researchers don't yet know whether the puppy died of natural causes or whether it was killed to accompany the toddler into the afterlife.

Archaeologists discovered the toddler's burial by the Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne Airport in central France, calling the find "absolutely exceptional."

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Tuesday, January 26, 2021


Archaeologists have discovered a beautiful white marble table from the 4th – 5th century AD, i.e. the Late Roman and Early Byzantine period, during excavations in one of the towers of the Petrich Kale Fortress near the Black Sea city of Varna in Northeast Bulgaria.

Even though the rare artifact, an ancient marble table signifying the presence of a high-ranking Roman official, has been found broken, almost all of its pieces are in place, allowing the restorers from the Varna Museum of Archaeology to put it back together.

Petrich Kale is a fortress which was in used for about 1,000 years by the medieval Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire) and the medieval Bulgarian Empire, up until the region’s conquest by the Ottoman Turks.

The Petrich Kale Fortress is located in Avren Municipality, right outside of the Black Sea city of Varna (it should not to be confused with the modern-day town of Petrich in Southwest Bulgaria).

The Petrich Kale Fortress was established in the Late Roman and Early Byzantine period, in the 5th century AD, and was destroyed by the end of the 6th century by barbarian invasions.

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Archaeology breakthrough as secret reason Romans never abandoned UK fort explained

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have been stunned for years at the prominence of Vindolanda, the Roman structure that pre-dated Hadrian's Wall, with the reason for its strength revealed by the site's lead researcher.

Hadrian's Wall was built to mark the boundaries of the Roman Empire and to keep the Scots out. It was constructed after the visit of Emperor Hadrian in 122 AD by the Roman army, protected by those who built it, as well as the Roman soldiers who lived in the forts alongside it. The 73-mile wall - stretching from the banks of the River Tyne near the North Sea to the Solway Firth on the Irish Sea - was the furthest frontier of the Roman Empire.

While Hadrian's Wall is one of the more famous legacies left by the Romans, other, perhaps more significant sites, remain sprinkled around the North of England.

Vindolanda sits fairly landlocked in Northumberland, and was once a Roman auxiliary fort just south of Hadrian's Wall.

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Friday, January 22, 2021

Perfectly Preserved Roman-Era Wine Barrels Found In Reims Reveal Ancient Coopers' Art

The barrel used as casing for the Pts 378 well in situ
[Credit: Inrap]

The three barrels were discovered in 2008, along the right bank of the river Vesle which runs through Reims, as part of an archaeological excavation.

Dating from the 1st century AD to 4th century AD, the three barrels were in an “outstanding state of preservation” and were being used as water butts at the end of their working lives.

Trace analysis of the barrel staves, however, revealed the tell-tale remains of malic and tartaric acids which are common indicators of alcoholic fermentation.

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Monday, January 18, 2021

Iron Age Village Discovered In Essex

Aerial view of the site showing the roundhouses [Credit: Oxford Archaeology East]

The remains of an Iron Age village have been found at Tye Green. Members of Oxford Archaeology East have been investigating the four hectare area for Countryside Properties and RPS Consulting, ahead of work to create new housing.

Their fieldwork suggests the site was important in the late Iron Age and early Roman periods, but could have come to harm - possibly as a result of Boudiccan reprisals

The site has a large defensive enclosure dug in the late 1st century BC, with 17 roundhouses and 17 semi-circular shapes which could have been screens or windbreaks. Smaller semi-circular structures are also associated with hearths.

The depth of the roundhouse gullies has suggested that the buildings were up to 15m in diameter. Archaeologists said the enclosure had an avenue-like entrance and aligned with the central roundhouse. Structures similar to medieval granary stores could have been stored grain taxes.

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Thursday, January 14, 2021

Caligula’s Gardens, Long Hidden Beneath Italian Apartment Building, to Go on View


The infamous Roman emperor’s extravagant tastes included opulent marble and exotic animals

By the time of his assassination in 41 A.D., the Roman emperor Caligula was infamous for his violent streak and extravagant amusements, including a huge compound featuring a bathhouse adorned with precious colored marble and space for exotic animals. Now, reports Franz Lidz for the New York Times, the remains of this pleasure garden—known as Horti Lamiani—are set to go on public display beneath the streets of Rome.

Italy’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Cultural Activities and Tourism plans to open the subterranean gallery, dubbed the Nymphaeum Museum of Piazza Vittorio, this spring. Visitors will be able to see a section of the imperial garden, complete with artifacts including a marble staircase and elaborate frescoes.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Archaeologists discover ancient snack bar in Pompeii in ‘extraordinary’ find

Archaeologists have discovered a well-preserved snack bar from the ancient city of Pompeii which was destroyed in a volcanic eruption nearly 2,000 years ago.

The “extraordinary” find will be open to the public for viewings in 2021.

The frescoed hot food and drinks shop, also known as a termopolium, was discovered last year in Pompeii’s archaeological park to the south-east of Naples, Italy.

It would have served the equivalent of modern day street food to Roman customers.

The park is currently closed due to coronavirus restrictions, but the Pompeii site hopes to reopen for visitors by Easter.

Massimo Ossana, director of the Pompeii archaeological park, told the Reuters news agency: “This is an extraordinary find. 

Roman road remains uncovered in Northumberland

The remains are part of The Stanegate - a Roman road which ran east-west south of Hadrian's Wall Northumbrian Water

Remains of a Roman road which pre-dates Hadrian's Wall have been uncovered in Northumberland.

The find, which is almost two thousand years old, was made during work on the water network near Settlingstones.

They are thought to be from the road's foundations and built by Agricola or his successors about AD80, although no evidence of its exact date was found.

Archaeologists said given its location it was an "important part" of the early northern Roman frontier.

The ancient remains were discovered by Northumbrian Water when it began improvement works at the site of The Stanegate road, which linked Corbridge and Carlisle.

Philippa Hunter, from Archaeological Research Services Ltd, which worked on the site, said: "While monitoring the excavation pit, our archaeologist identified a deposit of compacted cobbles thought to be the remains of the Roman road's foundations."

Following the Roman Army between the Southern Foothills of the Cantabrian Mountains and the Northern Plains of Castile and León (North of Spain): Archaeological Applications of Remote Sensing and Geospatial Tools


Sixty-six new archaeological sites have been discovered thanks to the combined use of different remote sensing techniques and open access geospatial datasets (mainly aerial photography, satellite imagery, and airborne LiDAR). These sites enhance the footprint of the Roman military presence in the northern fringe of the River Duero basin (León, Palencia, Burgos and Cantabria provinces, Spain). This paper provides a detailed morphological description of 66 Roman military camps in northwestern Iberia that date to the late Republic or early Imperial eras. We discuss the different spatial datasets and GIS tools used for different geographic contexts of varied terrain and vegetation. Finally, it stresses out the relevance of these novel data to delve into the rationale behind the Roman army movements between the northern Duero valley and the southern foothills of the Cantabrian Mountains. We conclude that methodological approaches stimulated by open-access geospatial datasets and enriched by geoscientific techniques are fundamental to understand the expansion of the Roman state in northwestern Iberia during the 1st c. BC properly. This renewed context set up a challenging scenario to overcome traditional archaeological perspectives still influenced by the cultural-historical paradigm and the pre-eminence of classical written sources.