Roman Archaeology (Miscellaneous)

Nosmo King

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Construction Workers Stumble Across Old Pots With 1,300 Pounds Of Ancient Roman Coins Inside.​

The workers were digging a ditch to run electricity to a park when they came across these old-looking pots. These pots are actually called amphoras, and they were made during the time when Rome ruled much of Europe.​

roman_coins_01.jpg


They cleared more of the dirt out that was surrounding the amphoras and discovered that they were full of what looked like coins!​


There actually turned out to be 19 of these amphoras in the area. All of them were full the brim with bronze Roman Empire coins.​


The coins date back to around the 3rd or 4th century A.D. The surprising thing is that researchers say that these coins were never in actual circulation.​

The coins date back to around the 3rd or 4th century A.D. The surprising thing is that researchers say that these coins were never in actual circulation.​


https://www.buzznicked.com/roman-coins-in-pots/
 

Mythopoeika

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That whole article doesn't seem to say where they were found.
 

maximus otter

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Ancient Roman 'homophobic graffiti’ found in unearthed Pompeii snack bar


The colourful Thermopolium of Regio V was one of the snack bars at Pompeii, and it has finally been revealed in its entirety by archaeologists.

After years of work, they discovered paintings, food residue, animal bones, skeletons of victims of the volcanic eruption and, surprisingly, some homophobic graffiti.

On the last side of the snack bar’s counter to be excavated, above a painting of a dog, an ancient vandal has carved the words: “NICIA CINAEDE CACATOR.”

Termopolio-Regio-V-20-%E2%94%AC%C2%AEluigispina-768x1024-1.jpg


Nicias was likely to have been a freedman from Greece and the owner of the bar, while “cinaede cacator” translates as “catamite s**tter”.

The word “catamite” does not have a modern-day equivalent, but referred to a teenage boy who was the sexual partner of a young man.

Pompeii Sites notes that the homophobic graffiti “was probably left by a prankster who sought to poke fun at the owner, or by someone who worked in the Thermopolium”.

https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2020/12/...ancient-rome-gay-catamite-thermopolium-italy/

maximus otter
 

Lb8535

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Ancient Roman 'homophobic graffiti’ found in unearthed Pompeii snack bar


The colourful Thermopolium of Regio V was one of the snack bars at Pompeii, and it has finally been revealed in its entirety by archaeologists.

After years of work, they discovered paintings, food residue, animal bones, skeletons of victims of the volcanic eruption and, surprisingly, some homophobic graffiti.

On the last side of the snack bar’s counter to be excavated, above a painting of a dog, an ancient vandal has carved the words: “NICIA CINAEDE CACATOR.”

Termopolio-Regio-V-20-%E2%94%AC%C2%AEluigispina-768x1024-1.jpg


Nicias was likely to have been a freedman from Greece and the owner of the bar, while “cinaede cacator” translates as “catamite s**tter”.

The word “catamite” does not have a modern-day equivalent, but referred to a teenage boy who was the sexual partner of a young man.

Pompeii Sites notes that the homophobic graffiti “was probably left by a prankster who sought to poke fun at the owner, or by someone who worked in the Thermopolium”.

https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2020/12/...ancient-rome-gay-catamite-thermopolium-italy/

maximus otter
Remember when your mom taught you not to dwell on your errors of judgment because "in a hundred years no one will know about it"?
 

Kondoru

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Somebody's Dissertation is going to be based on that.

What fun!
 

maximus otter

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'Good Shepherd' gold ring found in Roman-era wreck off Israel


Israeli researchers on Wednesday displayed a Roman-era golden ring with an early Christian symbol for Jesus inscribed in its gemstone, found in a shipwreck off the ancient port of Caesarea.

180188-centuries-old-good-shepherd-ring-recovered-from-shipwrecks-off-israel-1536x864.jpg


The thick octagonal gold ring with its green gemstone bore the figure of the "Good Shepherd" in the form of a young shepherd boy in a tunic with a ram or sheep across his shoulders.

IY2U5T6KPVNL5KQQC7X5EDJQ2U.jpg


The ring was found among a trove of third-century Roman coins, as well as a bronze eagle figurine, bells to ward off evil spirits, pottery, and a Roman pantomimus figurine in a comic mask, the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement.

A red gemstone with a carving of a lyre was also found in the relatively shallow waters, as well as remains of the wooden hull of the ship, the authority said.

https://www.france24.com/en/live-ne...gold-ring-found-in-roman-era-wreck-off-israel

maximus otter
 

EnolaGaia

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A remarkable Roman-era statue of Hercules has been discovered in Philippi (Greece).
Classical statue of Hercules nearly 2,000 years old found in Greece

Archaeologists have discovered the remnants of a classical statue dating back more than 1,800 years in the ancient metropolis of Philippi, in northeastern Greece.

During the excavation, archaeologists unearthed the work from the Roman period, second century AD, depicting the mythical hero Hercules — also known as Heracles ...

The team of researchers, from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, focused their dig efforts at a site on one of the city's main streets, concluding in mid-September.

The excavation also revealed an ornately embellished structure thought to be a fountain, which the statue adorned ...

The archaeologists believe the structure dates back to the eighth or ninth century AD, with the statement explaining that statues often decorated buildings and public spaces in Constantinople — now Istanbul in Turkey — during the Roman reign until the late Byzantine period. ...

Described by the ministry as a "larger than life" statue, the artifact depicts a derobed, youthful Hercules.

Legend has it that Hercules — the son of Zeus, the Greek god and ruler of Mount Olympus — displayed superhuman strength and overcame 12 trials assigned to him by King Eurystheus.

Experts identified the legendary hero based on the lion hanging from his left hand and a club, which was found in fragments. According to myth, one of Hercules' 12 labors was to slay a Nemean lion, whose skin he later wore.

On the statue's head is a wreath of vine leaves held together by a band that ends at the shoulders. ...

Natalia Poulou, a professor at the university's School of History and Archaeology, led the excavation. Aristotle University's Anastasios Tantsis, an assistant professor, and Aristotle Menzos, a professor emeritus, and 24 students rounded out the team at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Philippi's ruins, according to the ministry's statement.

Alexander the Great's father, the Macedonian King Philip II, founded the walled city in 356 BC, and it later became part of the Roman Empire, modeled as a "small Rome," according to UNESCO's site. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.cnn.com/style/article/hercules-statue-philippi-greece-intl-scli-scn/index.html
 

maximus otter

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Ancient ‘fridge’ — with meat still inside — found at Roman military camp, experts say

Archaeologists unearthed an unusual discovery at an ancient Roman military camp in Bulgaria: a fridge.

ancient fridge.jpg

Excavations at Novae uncovered the “ancient fridge,” a food storage unit made of ceramic plates. The fridge still had animal bones, fragments of dishes, and traces of cooked meat, archaeologists said. The fridge also contained parts of a small bone that researchers speculated worked as a “censor” for insect repellent, experts said.

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/article267117666.html

maximus otter
 
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Salmonellus

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Ancient ‘fridge’ — with meat still inside — found at Roman military camp, experts say

Archaeologists unearthed an unusual discovery at an ancient Roman military camp in Bulgaria: a fridge.


Excavations at Novae uncovered the “ancient fridge,” a food storage unit made of ceramic plates. The fridge still had animal bones, fragments of dishes, and traces of cooked meat, archaeologists said. The fridge also contained parts of a small bone that researchers speculated worked as a “censor” for insect repellent, experts said.

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/article267117666.html

maximus otter
Interesting. But even the Miami Herald article doesn't explain how it kept things cold, which one would have thought was a fairly essential feature of a "fridge". Was it basically an ice chest ? Ice storage in ice houses was well established, and I suppose you could have supplied ice throughout the year to your in-wall fridge.
 

EnolaGaia

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Interesting. But even the Miami Herald article doesn't explain how it kept things cold, which one would have thought was a fairly essential feature of a "fridge". Was it basically an ice chest ? Ice storage in ice houses was well established, and I suppose you could have supplied ice throughout the year to your in-wall fridge.

It was insulated by the ceramic plates, the surrounding stonework, and the fact it was sunk into the floor level. It is believed to have been used as a basic icebox requiring cold material to chill the contents.
... The Roman refrigerator was found inside a military barracks. It was a built-in element that was installed in a niche in the building’s stone floor underground, meaning it could only be opened from the top. This design ensured it would have been reasonably well insulated by the cool stone that surrounded it on three sides. ...

Since Bulgaria experiences temperatures below freezing for up to five months each year, Roman soldiers could have collected ice or snow to place inside the box to keep their food cold and fresh during the wintertime. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/novae-roman-refrigerator-0017341
 

Salmonellus

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It was insulated by the ceramic plates, the surrounding stonework, and the fact it was sunk into the floor level. It is believed to have been used as a basic icebox requiring cold material to chill the contents.

FULL STORY: https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/novae-roman-refrigerator-0017341
Thanks for the Ancient Origins reference, EnolaGaia. It explains a fair bit more. I knew that the Romans stored and used snow to make iced drinks and a sort of gelato, but most accounts make that out to be an aristocratic luxury only enjoyed by the city elite. It's a pleasant surprise to discover that harnessing snow was also happening in a legionary fortress out in the sticks on the banks of the Danube.

Truly Roman civilization could be amazing.
 

Floyd1

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Ancient Rome: Stunningly preserved bronze statues found in Italy​

Italian archaeologists have unearthed 24 beautifully preserved bronze statues in Tuscany believed to date back to ancient Roman times.
The statues were discovered under the muddy ruins of an ancient bathhouse in San Casciano dei Bagni, a hilltop town in the Siena province, about 160km (100 miles) north of the capital Rome.
Depicting Hygieia, Apollo and other Greco-Roman gods, the figures are said to be around 2,300 years old.
One expert said the find could "rewrite history".


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-63564404
 

maximus otter

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Roman Coins Once Thought to Be Fake Reveal a Long Lost Historical Figure


Long dismissed as forgeries, a handful of ancient Roman coins uncovered in Transylvania more than three centuries ago have been authenticated by a new analysis.

It's not hard to see why the coins – dated to the 260s CE – might have been considered fakes. Where most ancient coinage displays the head of an emperor, one of the artifacts displays a mysterious figure not portrayed in any other known record.

On some the name "Sponsian" is stamped, a figure of Roman authority history seems to have forgotten.

RomanCoin-Sponsian.jpg

"Scientific analysis of these ultra-rare coins rescues the emperor Sponsian from obscurity," says University College London earth scientist Paul Pearson, who led the study.

Discovered in 1713, the gold aurei coins had been declared poor forgeries in the mid-19th century by the leading expert at the time, a man named Henry Cohen, due to many irregularities. They differ in manufacture and style to authentic coins of their period, for example, vary considerably in weight, have mixed up motifs and messed up inscriptions.

The name Sponsian is also very peculiar, with the only other known instance of it being from a Roman funerary inscription "Nicodemus Sponsian" dated to the first century. What's more, this sole other instance of the name wasn't even known at the time of the coins' discovery.

Using ultraviolet imaging, visible light, and scanning electron microscopy, Pearson and colleagues found wear scratches covering the coins' surfaces. This suggests the tokens had experienced extensive use and circulation amongst other coins, and had not been deliberately scratched to imitate use. Miniscule bits of soil cemented onto the surfaces supports the claim the artifacts really had been buried for a long period of time.

The Sponsian coin, in particular, has a distinct mix of gold, silver, and copper that's unlike the ratios measured in any of the other coins. While this might suggest the coins are modern fakes, Pearson and colleagues conclude it probably means the coins were minted outside of ancient Rome, "most likely made from imperfectly refined ore".

[It is suggested that Sponsian] was most likely an army commander in the isolated Roman Province of Dacia during the military crisis of the 260s CE.

https://www.sciencealert.com/roman-...-be-fake-reveal-a-long-lost-historical-figure

maximus otter
 
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EnolaGaia

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Roman Coins Once Thought to Be Fake Reveal a Long Lost Historical Figure


Or maybe not ... This more recent article posted to a dedicated classics forum argues the Sponsian coin is all too obviously a fake.
SPONSIAN: ANOTHER LOST EMPEROR
Alfred Deahl

... Quite fortuitously, shortly after I published my article on Domitian II, the same sort of discovery seems to have happened again. On, 23 November, Paul N. Pearson et al.[1] published a paper authenticating a gold coin of the emperor ‘Sponsian’. This has been widely reported in the news since – something which certainly doesn’t happen every day with Roman coins. ...

The coin was found among others in 1713 in Transylvania, according to a handwritten note by Carl Gustav Heraeus (1671–1725), Inspector of Medals for the Imperial collection in Vienna ...

Two of these coins, one silver and one gold, featured the name Sponsian – a hitherto-unknown Roman general. Heraeus believed that they were imitation coins that were struck in antiquity. Counterfeit coins of this sort, called ‘barbarous radiates’, were frequently stuck in this period. ...

Pearson’s team, however, sought to exonerate Heraeus’ discovery of the ‘Sponsian’ coin ... His paper features a study of the deep micro-abrasion patterns on this coin ... Despite the sophistication of forgeries in Heraeus’ day, Pearson has concluded the gold coin to be genuine (the silver one has been lost for generations) and thus an affirmation of the historical existence of Sponsian. ...

But this is all too good to be true. Too many assumptions have been left unquestioned in this ‘authentication’, and there are major problems with the interpretation of the data in the paper. What seems particularly odd is that the paper points out many of these very problems, yet manages to conclude the exact opposite of what the reader expects. ...

There are no equivalent examples of Imperial coins that look so far back to a small, insignificant coin type from so many centuries earlier. The forger has clearly made a mistake. The ‘reverse legend’, which features on both the Sponsian coin and the Republican denarius, reads C AUG, short for Caius Augurinus. The forger has assumed the AUG was short for Augustus, a title used on nearly all imperial coins. This is a very bad mistake which itself rules out any possibility that the coin might have been genuine. ...

But there is more evidence which condemns the coin further. This is provided by its very fabric. ... Unlike all authentic Roman coins, this coin is cast in a mould, not struck between two dies. Bizarrely, such a production method makes Pearson interpret this as a unique innovation, rejecting the far more obvious conclusion that it is a modern forgery. ...

My conclusion from all of this is that the ‘Sponsian’ coin is very clearly fake; moreover, ... this coin is a bad fake. An amusing detail is that there is only one ‘Sponsian’ attested in antiquity: on a funerary inscription for the cubicularius (chamberlain) of the empress Livia (59 BC–AD 29). It is a remarkably rare name, one which a forger simply would not have known, especially as the inscription was found in the 1720s, after the alleged 1713 find date.[2] This has been interpreted as evidence for the coin’s authenticity – how could a forger using a significant amount of gold have made such a bad forgery in every regard, even to the point of making up a random, almost-unattested, Roman-like name? This argument, essentially that the coin seems such a bad fake that it must be genuine, appears to be Pearson’s chief argument for its authenticity. I suggest that this is not a strong position. ...
FULL STORY: https://antigonejournal.com/2022/11/sponsian-fake-emperor/
 

Salmonellus

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Or maybe not ... This more recent article posted to a dedicated classics forum argues the Sponsian coin is all too obviously a fake.

FULL STORY: https://antigonejournal.com/2022/11/sponsian-fake-emperor/
I suspect that when you look at these coins in the context of what was happening in the Roman world at the time, some of the anomalies become more understandable.

Dacia was on the fringes of the Empire. The Third Century was a time of civil war, breakdown of central authority, and general disorder. If Sponsianus was a regional military commander trying to preserve order, he would have been faced with a lot of problems, and the loss of supply of coin from the Imperial mints was likely to be one of them, but not the most pressing.

I can imagine him getting a few of the local metal workers together and having a conversation that went something like:

- Any of you guys ever minted coins before?
- No boss, sorry.
- Can you see a way to do it?
- Well, um, maybe.
- We need coins. Can you at least try?
- Okay, we'll give it a go.

The result might well have been something like the Sponsianus examples that people have been debating.
 
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