Friday, April 28, 2023

Burnt graves full of ancient Roman artifacts uncovered during construction in Belgium

Experts said they were surprised by their findings. Gemeente Zemst

What started as a pre-construction archaeological project in Belgium has evolved into a sprawling excavation uncovering a trove of Roman-era artifacts and ruins, government officials say. Ahead of refurbishing Sportpark Hubert Van Innis, archaeologists launched an investigation into the area given its location in Elewijt — which was under Roman rule thousands of years ago. Experts expected to find remains, but the extent of their discoveries was surprising, according to an April 25 news release from the Zemst government. First, as expected, archaeologists unearthed a building and well dating to the Middle Ages, according to officials. They also discovered several burial mounds.

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Archaeologists Find Evidence of ‘Lost’ Ancient Roman Campaign in Arabia

The Romans tell that their conquest of the Nabateans was peaceful, but is that a tall tale of the victor? Or did they erase the memory of a fiasco in Arabia?

In the year 106, the Romans annexed the Nabatean kingdom and renamed it Arabia Petraea. The question is how exactly that was achieved.

Roman historians described this as a nonviolent process following the demise of the last Nabatean king, Rabbel II Soter. But now, in the barren desert of northern Arabia, archaeologists have detected what they believe were three Roman army camps. They're situated in a straight line between the Bayir oasis near the Nabatean capital of Petra and Dûmat al-Jandal in what is now northern Saudi Arabia.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Archaeologists found a lost Roman fortlet in Scotland

An artist's impression of Watling Lodge fortlet, which also once stood along the Antonine Wall, and would have been similar to the fortlet discovered near Carleith Farm. Historic Environment Scotland

Archaeologists in western Scotland have found the foundations of a Roman fortlet dating back to the Second Century CE. According to the government-run historic preservation commission Historic Environment Scotland, this fort was one of 41 defensive structures that was built near the Antonine Wall, one of Scotland’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

This fortified wall made of mostly wood ran for roughly 40 miles across Scotland as part of the Roman Empire’s unsuccessful attempt to extend its control throughout Britain from roughly 410 to 43 CE. The Antonine Wall was defended as the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire. Emperor Antoninus Pius ordered the building of the wall in 142 CE as a one-up to his predecessor Hadrian. The famed Hadrian’s Wall was built in the 120s CE about 100 miles south of the Antonine Wall.

The Romans called the people living in Scotland “Caledonians”, and later named them  the Picts after a Latin word meaning “painted people,” in reference to their body paintings or tattoos. The Romans retreated to the Hadrian Wall in 162 CE after 20 years of trying to hold a new northern line at the Antonine Wall.

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Monday, April 24, 2023

Roman burial site discovered on Nuneaton land set for giant new housing estate

Before and after - the land at Top Farm, left, and the masterplan for its future use - including 1,700 homes. Now works are to be undertaken to investigate areas of archaeological interest

Roman archaeology has been discovered on Nuneaton land where a giant new housing estate is set to be built. Planning permission was given the go-ahead last year for the 1,700 home development with secondary school and leisure centre land on Top Farm.

It is already known that there is an animal foot and mouth burial pit on the sprawling site and a report has also revealed that a probable Roman cremation burial area was unearthed on the site. This was during an archaeological survey undertaken last year.

Further investigation work is now set to take place. It will be ahead of the first phase of the works starting on the site, which are pencilled in to start in late summer this year.

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1,600-year-old temple to mysterious Roman god unearthed in Germany. Take a look

Lord Mayor Wolfram Leibe and Minister of the Interior Michael Ebling
at the excavations in Trier.

Torch lights flicker in the underground space, illuminating the stone statues and casting shadows on the gathering. Military men sit on brick benches and look at the stone carving. Looking back at them through the lantern light is their god — a figure simultaneously well-known and mysterious.

The cult scene feels part ominous, part reverent and entirely like part of a Netflix documentary. In reality, these shadowy gatherings took place across the ancient Roman world.

Archaeologists in Trier, Germany, recently uncovered a 1,600-year-old temple where this Roman cult gathered, according to an April 12 news release from the General Directorate for Cultural Heritage in Rhineland-Palatinate.

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Sunday, April 23, 2023

Roman Temple Uncovered in Northwestern France

(© Emmanuelle Collado, Inrap)

BRITTANY, FRANCE—Live Science reports that a structure thought to have been a temple dedicated to Mars, the Roman war god, has been uncovered in northwestern France at the site of La Chapelle-des-Fougeretz. Françoise Labaune-Jean of France’s National Institute of Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) said that the large sanctuary with a view of the Roman city of Condate was probably an important one. It is thought to have been established shortly after the region was conquered by Julius Caesar in 56 B.C., and occupied into the fifth century A.D. and the collapse of the western Roman Empire. Although no inscriptions have been found to date, a bronze statuette of Mars has been found at the site, in addition to iron weapons that had been deposited in a ditch around the sanctuary. Terracotta figurines that may represent Venus and mother goddesses were also recovered from a nearby pit. To read about another Roman city in France, go to "Gaul's University Town."

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Monday, April 17, 2023

Lavish ancient Roman winery found at ruins of Villa of the Quintilii near Rome

View of the excavated winery from the northern dining hall of the Villa of the Quintilii outside Rome. Photograph: Stefano Castellani

Excavation shows facility included luxurious dining rooms with views of fountains that gushed with wine

Of all the Roman ruins that populate what is now a pleasant landscape of pine trees and meadows, under the distant gaze of the Alban Hills, the Villa of the Quintilii is perhaps the most impressive – almost a city in miniature, covering up to 24 hectares.

Lying on the ancient Appian Way as it runs south-east from Rome, the villa had its own theatre, an arena for chariot races and a baths complex with walls and floors lined in sumptuous marble.

But the story of the villa, whose origins lie in the second century AD, has just become even more remarkable, with the discovery of an elaborate winery unparalleled in the Roman world for lavishness.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2023

The Battle of Teutoburg Forest: Give Me Back My Legions!

During the reign of Emperor Augustus, in the deep, dark forests across the Rhine, three Roman legions marched in order, seeking to resolve the issue of pacifying the disparate but problematic Germanic tribes resisting Roman rule.

With their expertise and superior military, the Romans were confident they would achieve an easy victory, expand the Roman sphere of influence, and put an end to the rebelliousness of the Germanic tribes in the area. But the trees of the forest hid a power much greater than they had anticipated. What happened that Autumn day in 9 CE would send shockwaves all the way back to Rome. This was the Battle of Teutoburg Forest.

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The ‘Barbarians’ Who Saved & Destroyed the Late Roman Empire

A look at how the traditional enemies of the Roman Empire came to save and, ultimately, destroy it.

When one pictures the Roman Empire, it can be quite easy to conjure up images of its glorious and all-conquering heydays. Visions of Caesar’s conquests, the civil war, Augustus, or the golden age of the Antonines. Throughout these portrayals, the primary enemy of the civilized Roman was the ‘barbarian,’ usually a Gaul, Scythian, or German.

However, while these periods make for good cinema or television, there exists an era infinitely more dramatic and turbulent, just under the radar of modern media’s glare. Between the late 4th and 5th centuries, the Roman emperors were often weak and incompetent puppets. Instead, the empire’s lifespan was extended and ultimately extinguished by a succession of ‘barbarian’ generals from beyond the imperial frontiers. This article tells the tale of how these ‘barbarians’ came to rule the fate of the Late Roman Empire.

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