Sunday, April 7, 2024

Roman Villa Full Of Miniature Votive Axes, Curse Tablets And Strange Artifacts Discovered In Oxfordshire


A large Roman villa was uncovered in Oxfordshire. Credit: Red River Archaeology Group

The complex was adorned with intricate painted plaster and mosaics and housed a collection of small, tightly coiled lead scrolls. The Red River Archaeology Group (RRAG), the organization responsible for coordinating the excavation, announced in a press release that these elements suggest that the site may have been used for rituals or pilgrimages.

Francesca Giarelli, the Red River Archaeology Group project officer and the site director, told CNN that the villa likely had multiple levels. The Roman villa complex, spanning an impressive 1,000 square meters (or 10,800 square feet) on its ground floor alone, was likely a prominent landmark visible from miles away.

“The sheer size of the buildings that still survive and the richness of goods recovered suggest this was a dominant feature in the locality if not the wider landscape,” says Louis Stafford, a senior project manager at RRAG, in the statement.

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Smallhythe: Riverside Romans and a royal shipyard in Kent

Today, Smallhythe Place in Kent is best known as a bohemian rural retreat once owned by the Victorian actress Ellen Terry and her daughter Edy Craig. As this month’s cover feature reveals, however, the surrounding fields preserve evidence of much earlier activity, including a medieval royal shipyard and a previously unknown Roman settlement (below, first image).
Our next feature comes from the heavy clays of the Humber Estuary, where excavations sparked by the
construction of an offshore windfarm have opened a 40km transect through northern Lincolnshire, with illuminating results (below, second image).
We then take a tour of Iron Age, Roman, and medieval Winchester, tracing its evolution into a regional capital and later a royal power centre.

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