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.