Roman Britain: New Findings & Discoveries

rynner2

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#31
Female 'gladiator' remains found in Herefordshire

Archaeologists in Herefordshire have uncovered the remains of what could possibly be a female gladiator.

Amongst the evidence of a Roman suburb in Credenhill, they have found the grave of a massive, muscular woman.

She was found in an elaborate wooden coffin, reinforced with iron straps and copper strips, which indicate her importance.

Her remains were found in a crouched position, in what could be a suburb of the nearby Roman town of Kenchester.

The archaeological Project Manager, Robin Jackson, said: "When we first looked at the leg and arm bones, the muscle attachments suggested it was quite a strapping big bloke, but the pelvis and head, and all the indicators of gender, say it's a woman."

"The coffin would have been made of wood - we haven't got any of the wood left, but we've got the nails around the outside then three huge giant straps that run all the way around the coffin, and also bronze strips on the corners which would have probably strengthened it, but probably decorated it.

"It's quite an elaborate and probably a very expensive coffin, and yet the person in it looked like they had a hard working life, and so there's an anomaly there."

An offering of beef and a fired pot were also found in the grave, and she was buried on top of a base of gravel.

Also unusual was the place where she was buried - in the suburb, instead of in a cemetery on the edge of the settlement, which was the law in Roman times.

This archaeological find is as a result of excavations in advance of the construction of the Yazor Brook Flood Alleviation Scheme, which will protect homes and businesses in Hereford.

The road east from Kenchester was constructed by the Roman army in the mid 1st century AD, as they pushed westwards into Wales.

Very little was known previously about the suburb which grew up beside this road, however, preliminary results suggest that the main period of development for the suburb was the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, and that it was much more extensive and densely occupied than had previously been thought.

Trial work, undertaken in 2009, showed that the area contains the well-preserved remains of Roman buildings, yards and rubbish pits situated to either side of a major Roman road, which ran east out of the town.

These form part of an important Roman suburb, which developed alongside the road, but now lies buried, along with the rest of the town, beneath fields and a footpath.

A team of archaeologists from Worcestershire Historic Environment and Archaeology Service, working in close co-operation with Amey Consulting and Herefordshire Council's archaeology team, are carefully excavating a 10-metre wide corridor, to allow the flood culvert to be built across this area.

A huge amount of information has already been gleaned, and this is beginning to allow the archaeologists to gain an understanding of this part of the town.

It is hoped that by the time the excavation is completed, at the end of July 2010, the archaeological team will have built up a detailed understanding of the development and nature of this Roman suburb.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/herefordand ... 780862.stm
 

Kondoru

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#32
Perhaps its Boudicea?

Or one of her daughters?

She was pretty big and tough, by all accounts
 

Cultjunky

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#33
Nah, apparently, shes buried in Birmingham. Or under Kings Cross. Or was cremated.
 

rynner2

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#34
Huge Roman coin find for hobbyist
Page last updated at 05:03 GMT, Thursday, 8 July 2010 06:03 UK

One of the largest ever finds of Roman coins in Britain has been made by a man using a metal detector.

The hoard of more than 52,000 coins dating from the third century AD was found buried in a field near Frome in Somerset.

The coins were found in a huge jar just over a foot (0.3m) below the surface by Dave Crisp, from Devizes in Wiltshire.

"I have made many finds over the years, but this is my first major coin hoard," he said.

After his metal detector gave a "funny signal", Mr Crisp says he dug down 14 inches before he found what had caused it.

"I put my hand in, pulled out a bit of clay and there was a little Radial, a little bronze Roman coin. Very, very small, about the size of my fingernail."

Mr Crisp reported the find to the authorities, allowing archaeologists to excavate the site.

Since the discovery in late April, experts from the Portable Antiquities Scheme at the British Museum have been working through the find.

The coins were all contained in a single clay pot. Although it only measured 18" (0.45m) across, the coins were packed inside and would have weighed an estimated 160kg.

"I don't believe myself that this is a hoard of coins intended for recovery," says Sam Moorhead from the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

"I think what you could see is a community of people who are actually making offerings and they are each pouring in their own contribution to a communal ritual votive offering to the gods."

It is estimated the coins were worth about four years' pay for a legionary soldier.

"Because Mr Crisp resisted the temptation to dig up the coins, it has allowed archaeologists from Somerset County Council to carefully excavate the pot and its contents," said Anna Booth, local finds liaison officer.

Somerset County Council Heritage Service now hope the coroner will declare the find as treasure. That would allow the Museum of Somerset to acquire the coins at market value with the reward shared by Mr Crisp and the land owner.

A selection of coins from the hoard is on display in Gallery 68 at the British Museum until mid-August.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/10546960.stm
 

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#35

Relic of Harpocrates, the god of secrecy and silence, found at Silchester


Archaeological dig at abandoned Roman city in Hampshire yields earliest representation of an Egyptian deity found in Britain

Professor Mike Fulford at the Silchester dig Professor Mike Fulford with a Roman writing tablet found at the Silchester dig. Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian

A battered and corroded thumb-sized piece of bronze has turned out to be a unique find, the earliest representation of an Egyptian deity from any site in Britain – and appropriately, after almost 2,000 years hidden in the ground, it is Harpocrates, the god of secrecy and silence.

The little figure was found at Silchester, site of an abandoned Roman city in Hampshire, in last summer's excavation, but his identity was only revealed in months of careful conservation work. His Greek and Roman designation as Harpocrates, the god of spymasters, is actually a transcription error.

"In Egyptian mythology the figure is known as Horus, the child of Isis and Osiris," said Professor Mike Fulford of the University of Reading, director of the Silchester excavation. "He is often shown with his finger in his mouth, a gesture that in Egypt represented the hieroglyph for his name, but was misinterpreted by the Greeks and Romans, resulting in his adoption as the god of silence and secrecy."

He was originally an ornament on an object, which is itself unique. "The figurine was attached to part of a charcoal-burning brazier which would have been used to provide heating and lighting. This brazier is the only one found in England so we are doubly excited," Fulford said. "The brazier, the sort of thing you would expect to find in Pompeii, is the first evidence of such a luxurious item from Roman Britain."

The context of the find suggests the brazier was imported, and later thrown out into a rubbish pit, in the first century AD. etc
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/ ... silchester
 

rynner2

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#36
Remains of Roman villa near Aberystwyth discovered

Archaeologists have discovered a 4th Century Roman villa near Aberystwyth.

It is the most north-westerly villa found in Wales and has forced experts to reconsider the whole nature of Roman settlement across mid and north Wales.

Findings indicate Abermagwr had all the trappings of villas found further south, including a slate roof and glazed windows.

"The discovery raises significant new questions," said Dr Toby Driver and Dr Jeffrey Davies, excavation directors.

The villa is likely to have belonged to a wealthy landowner, with pottery and coin finds on the site indicating occupation in the late 3rd and early 4th Centuries AD.

It was roofed with local slates, which were cut for a pentagonal roof. The walls were built of local stone and there was a cobbled yard.

The confirmation of the villa comes after Royal Commission aerial photography during the drought of 2006 suggested marks of a building and a ditch which could be an important historical monument.

Dr Driver and Dr Davies, while filming for BBC2 Wales' Hidden Histories programme in 2009 conducted a geophysical survey of the field. It revealed a vast ditched enclosure and annex, as well the buried footings of a winged stone building.

This led to the 2010 excavations.

etc...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-10753974
 

Zilch5

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#37
Experts uncover second Roman fort on city site

EXETER archaeologists believe they have found a second Roman fort on a development site in the city.

As the Echo has already reported, a team of city archaeologists has unearthed a previously unknown fort on the site of the former St Loye's campus off Topsham Road.

Archaeologists said the original discovery was set to rewrite Exeter's early history.

Now the excavations have revealed what the experts believe could be a second fort, built on top of the first. etc etc
http://www.thisisexeter.co.uk/news/City ... ticle.html
 

rynner2

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#38
Roman fortress Caerleon gives up new treasures to archaeology students
Roman buildings, unknown to historians, detected by Cardiff University students learning to use mapping equipment
Maev Kennedy guardian.co.uk, Thursday 12 August 2010 16.21 BST

Archaeology students learning how to use mapping equipment have stumbled across the site of large Roman buildings on the banks of the river Usk in Wales, right by one of the best-known and most-studied Roman sites in Britain.

The structures have yet to be excavated, but one is enormous, possibly a granary or warehouse – or a palatial riverside villa.

The students located the previously unknown buildings as they were learning to use geophysical tools, which can reveal the outlines of buried structures, in fields by the Roman fortress at Caerleon – claimed by some romantics as King Arthur's Camelot. The area has been excavated and studied for two centuries.

The buildings lie outside the fortress walls, where archaeologists believed there was nothing except a few outbuildings and stores.

Cardiff University, whose students of the school of history, archaeology and religion made the discovery, has created a fly-through animation, which contrary to the old guidebooks and maps, now shows buildings stuffed in between the fortress and the river, including a huge rectangular complex surrounding a courtyard the size of a parade ground.

Dr Pete Guest, senior lecturer in Roman archaeology at the university, described the discovery as "completely new and totally unexpected".

"It is difficult to be certain about what we have found because nothing like this has been discovered in Roman Britain before. The buildings' ground plans suggest that they were of some importance. We think that they could have included markets, administrative buildings such as town halls, bath-houses, store buildings, or even possibly temples.

"The biggest is enormous and must be one of the largest buildings known from Roman Britain. We can only guess what it was for, but at the moment we're working on the idea that it had something to do with a harbour on the river, although it does look uncannily like a residential villa building – if that's the case it was built on a palatial scale."

Caerleon, Chester and York are the only three known permanent legionary forts, but the others are much harder to excavate because most of the remains are buried under the modern cities. In Caerleon, almost the entire site is still in open ground, though many of the 17th and 18th century buildings incorporated stones borrowed from the Romans.

More answers may emerge in the next weeks, as the students join staff and a team from University College London, in a six-week dig.

The dig, which will continue until mid-September, will be open to the public with daily tours, and displays of finds. The excavation will be updated regularly at the Council for British Archaeology's website.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/ ... -buildings
 

rynner2

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#39
British villa fit for an emperor: Experts finally solve puzzle of Roman ruins at Lullingstone
By Jaya Narain
Last updated at 11:09 PM on 18th August 2010

For 70 years, archaeologists have tried to unravel the secrets of one of the most remarkable Roman villas discovered in Britain.
The Lullingstone villa was uncovered in 1939 when a tree was blown down by high winds. Over the years, archaeologists found one of the first Christian chapels in Britain, the graves of a man and a woman, a pair of unique floor mosaics and two marble busts.

The owner of the villa in Kent has finally been identified as a former Emperor of Rome.
Archaeologists believe the site near the village of Eynsford, close to Orpington, was the home of Publius Helvius Pertinax.
He was Governor of Britain between AD185 and 187 and became Roman Emperor in AD193 – reigning for only 87 days at the start of 'the year of the five emperors', which saw the empire ripped apart by assassinations.

A high-quality seal found just outside the villa is believed to be the governor's personal mark. Two portrait busts left at the villa have been identified as Pertinax and probably his father.

The research was carried out by Martin Henig, who lectures in Roman art and culture at Oxford University, and German Richard de Kind.

Joanne Gray, curator at Lullingstone, said: 'We have always known that the site must have belonged to someone of high status because of its size, the quality of its mosaic floor and the archaeological finds.

'The image on the seal is one of victory. It is an image often used by Romans as a sign of imperial power.'

The son of a freed slave, Petrinax was born in AD126 in modern-day Piedmont, Italy, and became a brilliant military commander.

Fighting in a series of wars under successive emperors, he was posted to Britain in AD186 to crush a rebellion in the Sixth Legion before becoming governor.

When Emperor Commodus was assassinated, Pertinax was installed as his successor. He drew up a series of measures to balance the budget after Commodus's lavish spending on games and spectacles.

But the austere measures made him unpopular and he was assassinated by his own guards at the age of 66.

Historians say the villa was built in 82AD, enlarged in around 150AD and used by others for more than 300 years until it was burnt down in the 5th century. Its basement and foundation walls can still be viewed at the site, which is preserved by English Heritage.

Mrs Gray said the research had been carried out by archaeologists Martin Henig, who lectures in Roman art and culture at Oxford University, and German archaeologist Richard de Kind.
She added: 'The research that has been done points quite strongly to Lullingstone being the home of Britain's governor. Everything seems to fit.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... z0x2UIOW8a
 
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#40
Flood water reveals bigger Cockermouth Roman fort
Roman dig Volunteers help with the dig at the Roman site

The floods which devastated west Cumbria last November have helped rewrite the area's history by unearthing Roman treasures.

Work began in a field near Papcastle in Cockermouth after the floods in 2009 exposed the remains of a settlement.

The artefacts, including pottery and glassware, are around 1,700 years old meaning the Roman fort on the site was more extensive than experts believed.

Bassenthwaite Reflections, which runs the project, needs dig volunteers.

Lead archaeologist Mark Graham said: "We are unearthing a site of great historical significance.

"It is showing the Roman presence in Cockermouth was far more extensive than was believed with the settlement stretching down to the River Derwent."

RAF and lifeboat crews rescued scores of people from their homes when water levels reached 2.5m (8ft 2in) in Cockermouth town centre during the floods.

Bassenthwaite Reflections is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is looking for volunteers to help with digs on 26 August and 2 September.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-11058330
 

rynner2

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#41
Romans wore socks with sandals, new British dig suggests
Britons may be famous for their lack of fashion sense and Italians for their style. But it appears we may have inherited one of our biggest sartorial crimes from the Romans.
By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent
Published: 10:00PM BST 25 Aug 2010

New evidence from an archaeological dig has found that legionnaires wore socks with sandals.

Rust on a nail from a Roman sandal found in newly discovered ruins in North Yorkshire appears to contain fibres which could suggest that a sock-type garment was being worn.

Now scientists are examining the remains in the laboratory to see if it is true.

The fashion faux pas was found in a 2000-year-old "industrial estate" excavated as part of a £318 million Highways Agency scheme to upgrade the A1 between Dishforth and Leeming in North Yorkshire.

The unearthed site includes the remains of a water-powered flour mill used to grind grain and produce food for the soldiers, clothes, food remains, graves and pottery.

It also contains the evidence of the socks in 14 graves on the outskirts of the area.

Blaise Vyner, an archaeologist heading the cultural heritage team on site, said: "You don't imagine Romans in socks but I am sure they would have been pretty keen to get hold of some as soon as autumn came along."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/scie ... gests.html
 

rynner2

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#45
Dry weather reveals archaeological 'cropmarks' in fields

Hundreds of ancient sites have been discovered by aerial surveys, thanks to a dry start to the summer, English Heritage has said.

The surveys show marks made when crops growing over buried features develop at a different rate from those nearby.

The newly-discovered Roman and prehistoric settlements include a site near Bradford Abbas, Dorset.

The Roman camp was revealed in June after three sides became visible in rain-parched fields of barley.

The lightly-built defensive enclosure would have provided basic protection for Roman soldiers while on manoeuvres in the first century AD and is one of only four discovered in the south west of England, English Heritage said.

The dry conditions also allowed well-known sites to be photographed in greater detail.

Newton Kyme, near Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, was shown to not only be home to a Roman fort dating back nearly 2,000 years but also a larger, stronger defence built in 290AD.

English Heritage senior investigator Dave MacLeod said: "It's hard to remember a better year.

"Cropmarks are always at their best in dry weather, but the last few summers have been a disappointment.

"This year we have taken full advantage of the conditions. We try to concentrate on areas that in an average year don't produce much archaeology."

Flights over the Holderness area of the East Riding proved particularly productive with about 60 new sites, mainly prehistoric, found in just one day including livestock and settlement enclosures.

English Heritage said some sites which have not been visible since the drought of 1976 reappeared this summer.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11128297
 

rynner2

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#46
Rare Roman lantern found in field near Sudbury

A metal detecting enthusiast has found what is believed to be the only intact Roman lantern made out of bronze ever discovered in Britain.

Danny Mills, 21, made the find in a field near Sudbury in Suffolk.

The area was dotted with plush Roman villas and country estates in the second century.

The object, described as a rare example of Roman craftsmanship, has been donated to Ipswich Museum where is it now on display.

In the autumn of 2009, Mr Mills, a metal detector user, found a large bronze object whilst metal detecting in a field near Sudbury.

He immediately reported the discovery to Suffolk Archaeological Unit.

A Colchester and Ipswich Museums (CIM) spokeswoman said: "It turned out to be the only complete example of a Roman lantern found in Britain.

"Only fragments of similar lanterns are held in the British Museum and the closest complete example is from the famous Roman site of Pompeii."

It was found on land belonging to Mr and Mrs P Miller who donated it to Ipswich Museum, said the CIM spokeswoman.

Emma Hogarth, conservator at Colchester and Ipswich Museums, said: "It has been a pleasure to work on such a magnificent object."

Mr Mills said: "It was an amazing feeling. It took a while to dig down to see anything and once we found it, we had to go really carefully around it to get it out of the ground.

"It took the best part of an hour. I looked it up on the internet on my phone and matched it up with some others from Pompeii."

The lantern dates from between 43 and 300 AD.

It is like a modern hurricane lamp and the naked flame would have been protected by a thin sheet of horn which had been scraped and shaped until it was see through.

The horn is an organic material that did not survive as it will have rotted in to the soil.

The flame would have been produced by placing a wick into olive oil in a holder at the base of the lamp, not unlike a tea light holder.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-suffolk-11161686
 

rynner2

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#47
Treasure hunter finds rare antique in Cumbria

Video: Georgiana Aitken from Christie's explains why the helmet is special

A metal detector enthusiast in Cumbria has discovered a rare Roman bronze helmet complete with face-mask.

It is believed to be one of only three of its kind to be found in Britain.

The helmet would have been worn, possibly with colourful streamers attached, as a mark of excellence by Roman soldiers at sport parades.

Described as a "hugely important discovery", it is now expected to fetch £300,000 at Christie's Antiquities auction in London on 7 October.

The Crosby Garrett Helmet has been named after the hamlet in Cumbria where it was found in a field in May.

The treasure hunter who found it has asked to remain anonymous.

Christie's described the find as an "extraordinary example of Roman metalwork at its zenith" and "the discovery of a lifetime" for a metal detectorist.

It is believed that Romans wore the helmets as a mark of rank or excellence in horsemanship.

During sporting events, cavalrymen were divided into two teams and took turns to attack and defend.

Similar helmets were found in 1796 and 1905.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-11287093
 

rynner2

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#48
Rare Roman suit of armour found at Caerleon dig

video: Archaeologist Dr Peter Guest of Cardiff University reveals the latest findings at the dig at Caerleon

Archaeologists digging at a site in south Wales have uncovered an entire suit of Roman armour and some weapons.

The rare discovery was made during an excavation at the fortress of Caerleon in south Wales, one of Britain's best known Roman sites.

Dig leader Dr Peter Guest of Cardiff University said the suit was only the third or fourth to be found in the UK, and the first in Wales.

"It's very important for the study of Roman Britain," he said.

Dr Guest, senior lecturer in Roman archaeology at Cardiff's school of history, archaeology and religion, explained that a number of objects were first spotted last week on top of a floor in one room of a warehouse on the Priory Field site.

"We have been working on one of the rooms at the warehouse for six days," he explained.

"It's been a long, slow process of careful excavation but we are finally there now."

Dr Guest said the suit was found alongside a number of copper and bronze studs and hinges.

"It's in a pretty good condition considering Roman armour was usually made of iron and that does not survive very well in wet, cold soil like we have in Wales," he said.

"It's turned into rust but it still retains its outline."

The find has been "very important" for the Caerleon excavation, said Dr Guest, as it adds to the sum of knowledge about the Roman legion that was based here.

A team of curators and conservators from the National Museum of Wales has spent the day removing from the site 30 blocks of soil containing the objects.

The final detailed excavation will be carried out in the museum's laboratory in Cardiff.

"At the moment it's all in a bit of a jumble and it's going to take us a long time to separate all the pieces and see exactly what we have got," added Dr Guest.

"It's going to be a long and very delicate process of careful and more detailed excavation over a period of maybe one to two years."

The six-week dig at Priory Field is being carried out by a team of students from Cardiff University and University College London.

Caerleon (Isca), which dates from AD 75, is one of three permanent legionary fortresses in the UK.

It was built to house 5,500 Roman citizens and was occupied for between 200 and 300 years.

The other fortresses at Chester and York are mostly buried and difficult to excavate.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-11288684
 

rynner2

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#49
The 1,800-year-old murder mystery: Archaeologists unearth body of young girl buried with her hands tied
By Paul Sims
Last updated at 2:19 AM on 16th September 2010

She was no more than ten years old. Lying in a shallow grave, her tiny hands bound and with injuries to her head, it seemed she had met a most violent end.
But although all the clues point to the cruellest of murders, there is little chance of this ‘cold case’ ever being solved.
The mystery is puzzling not police, but archaeologists, as the gruesome events took place more than 1,800 years ago.

The team behind the find are still keen to play detective however, after unearthing the child’s skeletal remains in the corner of a barracks room at a Roman fort. Although the wheels of justice have turned far too slowly for this little girl, her death could help unlock ancient secrets.
A full examination of the remains is expected to take place within days and the results should be known within a month. The skeleton was found during an excavation at the Vindolanda Roman fort near Bardon Mill in Northumberland.

Human burials in built-up areas such as forts and towns were strictly forbidden in Roman times. The dead had to be interred or cremated in cemeteries on the outskirts. Archaeologists believe the child was murdered and then buried in a rush so as not to arouse suspicion.

They are uncertain whether the damage to the skull was inflicted at the time of her death or has taken place in the hundreds of years since.
At first, archaeologists working at the fort believed they had found the remains of a large dog. But when the entire skeleton was unveiled the grim truth emerged.

Dr Trudi Buck, a biological anthropologist from Durham University, identified the remains as those of a young person, possibly a girl. From the body’s position in the grave, the hands could have been tied together, she said.
‘The investigation so far has been very preliminary. There were no specific signs of damage to the bones that could be seen on first examination.
‘The cranium was very broken when it was discovered, but it is difficult to say if this was from any injuries sustained to it, or whether they have occurred over time.’

The grave where the girl was found dates back to the mid-third century, when the Fourth Cohort of Gauls formed the garrison at Vindolanda.
Dr Andrew Birley, Vindolanda’s director of excavations, said: ‘All sorts of scenarios are being considered.
First and foremost we could be dealing with a slave, not a free person. ‘There could have been a dispute between two soldiers, and one of them could have decided to damage the other’s property.
In Roman times slaves were considered to be property, and it is possible the little girl was harmed to settle a score. ‘What I can say for certain is that this was a crime that had to be covered up quickly.
‘It would not have been easy for the murderers to carry the body outside of the fort because of check points, and this is why the child was disposed of within its boundaries.’

It is not the first evidence of foul play at local excavation sites, which take in ten forts built by Romans. In the 1930s, Dr Birley’s grandfather, Eric, found two skeletons under a floor in a house at nearby Housesteads fort, one of whom had a knife blade stuck in the ribs.
‘I’m sorry to say that Vindolanda has probably produced another Roman murder victim, from around the AD250s,’ he said. ‘I shudder to think how this young person met their fate.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... z0zgcAVDdR
 
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#50
Warning over metal detectorists after Roman helmet find
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-11510037

Crosby Garrett helmet Landowners are being warned to know their rights

Landowners are being warned to expect a surge in metal detectorists after a Roman helmet sold for £2m.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) said its members should make sure they know the law before allowing metal detectorists on to their property.

It said disputes could arise and has published an advisory handbook.

The helmet was unearthed by a metal detector enthusiast in Crosby Garrett, near Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria, in May.

The piece, thought to have been worn by soldiers at sports events, was expected to fetch £300,000 when it went under the hammer at Christie's in London, but went to an anonymous bidder for £2m.
Professional advice
Continue reading the main story
Related stories

* Rare Roman helmet sells for £2m
* Roman helmet 'would be huge draw'

Both the finder and the farmer who owns the land where the artefact was found are entitled to a share of the sale money.

Angus Collingwood-Cameron, director of the CLA North East, said: "While such finds are extremely rare... I'm sure that this element of excitement helps to make the activity so popular.

"Responsible metal detectorists can unearth much that contributes to our heritage, but landowners must have control over all activities on their property.

"I cannot emphasis too strongly the importance of taking professional advice, to avoid costly legal battles in the future, and to discourage trespass.

"This high-profile event will make both landowners and detectorists wonder what else can be found, but taking simple steps, will give all parties peace of mind."
 

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#51
Archaeologists find Roman settlement in west London
Roman settlement brimming with ancient artefacts and human remains found at listed site in Syon Park
Press Association
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 17 November 2010 08.04 GMT

A Roman settlement brimming with ancient artefacts and human remains has been unearthed on a building site in west London, it was revealed today.

Archaeologists excavating the listed site in Syon Park made the discovery of more than 11,000 Roman items just half a metre below the surface.

They were digging on the plot of land ahead of the construction of a new landmark hotel, which will open the outskirts of the historic Syon Park Estate in 2011.

Around 11,500 fragments of pottery, 100 coins and jewellery were uncovered by the experts from the Museum of London Archaeology, along with burial sites containing human remains and a Roman road.

Jo Lyon, a senior archaeologist at the museum, said: "We were extremely fortunate to discover such a comprehensive repertoire of Roman finds and features so close to the surface. They tell us a great deal about how the people of this village lived, worked and died.

"The archaeology at Syon Park has given us a valuable, rare insight into the daily life of an agricultural village on the outskirts of Londinium (London) that would have supplied the Roman city and provided shelter for travellers passing through.

"It helps us build a picture of the Roman landscape and shows how the busy metropolis of Londinium connected with the rest of Roman Britain."

The excavations at the Grade I listed site near Brentford were conducted in 2008, but the fascinating discoveries have only now been revealed.

Archaeologists said the Roman settlement had remained remarkably undisturbed for almost 2,000 years and was of local and national significance.

The site revealed a section of one of Roman Britain's most important roads, linking Londinium with the Roman town of Silchester and an ancient tributary of the Thames.

The artefacts found included two shale armlets, fragments of a lava quernstone and a late Bronze Age (1000-700BC) gold bracelet.

The new hotel, being built by Waldorf Astoria, is set to open on the site next year and is hoping to display some of the historic finds.

The Duke of Northumberland, whose family has held residence at Syon Park for more than 400 years, said: "Syon Park has a rich and remarkable history.

"The Roman findings are an incredible addition to this legacy and emphasise Syon Park's place as a prominent landmark in ancient British history."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/ ... est-london

This is right next to where I was born, FWIW!
 

rynner2

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#52
Motorway maximus: Unearthed, a stunning Roman super-highway built 1,900 years ago
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 9:16 PM on 4th February 2011

It was a route once trod by legionnaires as they marched across a conquered land.
But, eventually, the Romans left Britain and the magnificent highway they created was reclaimed by nature and seemingly lost for ever.

Now, some 2,000 years after it was built, it has been uncovered in the depths of a forest in Dorset.
And, remarkably, it shows no sign of the potholes that blight our modern roads.
Constructed by the Roman invaders as part of a route from London (Londinium) to Exeter (Isca), the 85ft wide earthwork stands more than 15ft high and consists of a sweeping road with deep ditches at the side.

It was so densely covered by trees, however, that although its existence was known about, it simply could not be found until now.
One of the country’s first roads, it was uncovered when the Forestry Commission, acting on advice from English Heritage expert Peter Addison, cleared the Norway spruce fir trees in Puddletown Forest.

Mr Addison said it was the biggest Roman road he had come across and that it was probably designed to make a statement. It is thought that it might have been built shortly after the Roman conquest in the first century and its scale would have been chosen to intimidate people living nearby.
The sight of a Roman legion marching along it would surely have had the desired effect.

It is thought the road would have been made from layers of gravel and the fact it still exists is testimony to the skills of the builders.
There is a central cobbled ‘street’, which would have been used for rapid troop movements, and outer ‘droving’ roads for livestock, as well as ditches for water drainage.

Mr Addison said: ‘It’s extraordinary. It has been known about but when the Forestry Commission wanted to find it, they struggled.
‘The trees were planted so tightly it was difficult to move through them. But they called me in and I managed to find it.
‘It is part of the road that goes from Badbury Rings to the fort at Dorchester and was part of the network of roads from Old Sarum (now Salisbury) to Exeter.

‘It is absolutely huge and unlike anything I have ever seen. Here you have a large road with huge ditches either side. It is raised very high which is unusual. It is only speculation, but the height might have been to make a statement.
‘It is thought this was a road made early in the occupation and not used for long. If so, then it would have been incredibly impressive to the local people.

‘In other parts of the forest we know the road was made using gravel and they probably used layers to build up the agger (embankment). They built ditches on either side to act as soakaways to prolong the life of the road.
‘But more work needs to be done to find out these details.’
It is hoped that archaeologists will be able to examine the road.

A Forestry Commission spokesman said it would not be planting any more trees on it.
The road will probably be grassed over in the future, he added.
‘We have painstakingly uncovered one of the UK’s most remarkable sections of ancient Roman road,’ the spokesman said.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... z1D4z6BX5X

Another one with personal connections for me - I went to Uni in Isca, and have also lived in Dorset, so I must have crossed parts of this road dozens of times. But I never thought much about Romans back then, so I never knew a major Roman road ran so far south.

PS: The course of the Roman Road through Puddletown Forest is shown on Ordnance Survey maps.
 

rynner2

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#53
Girl 'murdered' by Roman soldiers in north Kent

The body of a girl thought to have been murdered by Roman soldiers has been discovered in north Kent.
Archaeologists working on the site of a Roman settlement near the A2 uncovered the girl who died almost 2,000 years ago.
"She was killed by a Roman sword stabbing her in the back of the head," said Dr Paul Wilkinson, director of the excavation.
"By the position of the entry wound she would have been kneeling at the time."

The Roman conquest of Britain began in AD43, and the construction of Watling Street started soon afterwards linking Canterbury to St Albans.
A small Roman town was built on the route, near present-day Faversham.

Dr Wilkinson is the director of SWAT Archaeology - a company which carries out digs before major building work takes place on sites which may hold historical interest.
He was in charge of a training dig excavating Roman ditches when they made the shocking find.
Dr Wilkinson said that she had been between 16 and 20 years old when she was killed, and her bones suggested that she had been in good health.

He also believes the body had then been dumped in what looked like a hastily dug grave.
"She was lying face down and her body was twisted with one arm underneath her body. One of her feet was even left outside the grave," he said.
The burial site was just outside the Roman town, with cemeteries close by.

Dr Wilkinson said the body was found with some fragments of iron age pottery which would date the grave to about AD50, and suggest that she was part of the indigenous population.

Another indication of her origin, according to Dr Wilkinson, is the orientation of the body.
Romans buried their bodies lying east-west, whereas this body was buried north-south, as was the custom for pagan graves.

Many people have a romantic view of the Roman invasion, Dr Wilkinson said.
"Now, for the first time, we have an indication of how the Roman armies treated people, and that large numbers of the local populations were killed.
"It shows how all invading armies act the same throughout history. One can only imagine what trauma this poor girl had to suffer before she was killed," he said.

She will be re-buried at the site.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-13211331
 

Kondoru

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#54
`Lots` of people killed and they got that from just `one` body?

Poor math, methinks

And if it was a north south burial and therefore native rather than roman, why was it so hasty?

I smell a rat
 

rynner2

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#55
Archaeologist digs into grandad's tale to uncover lost Yorkshire amphitheatre
A national theatre of the north is found on summit of Studforth Hill in Aldborough
Martin Wainwright guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 17 August 2011 21.02 BST

The lost amphitheatre of northern England has been found on a Yorkshire hilltop in a discovery with major implications for the study of Roman Britain.
Centuries of speculation have ended with a printout from geomagnetic scanners which reveals a great tiered bank of seats below curving hummocks in a field now frequented only by a herd of cattle.

Crowning the summit of Studforth Hill, the oval arena would have combined spectacles and entertainments with a magnificent 360-degree view, making it the equivalent of a national theatre of the north.
The find by Cambridge University archaeologists – led by a young woman who grew up locally and was told the amphitheatre legend by her grandfather – seals the importance in Roman times of the small village of Aldborough, between Harrogate and York.

It also adds to growing evidence that Britannia Inferior, as the northern province was known, was busier, more prosperous and cultured than previously thought. There have been a relative shortage of digs and studies of civilian sites in the area, compared with hundreds in Britannia Superior, today's south.

Initial work suggests the amphitheatre was flanked by a sports stadium.
"Its discovery leaves little doubt that Isurium Brigantium, as Aldborough was called in Roman times, was the civil capital of the Britons known as Brigantes, effectively the population between Derbyshire and Hadrian's Wall," said Martin Millett, professor of classical archaeology at Cambridge.
"York is much better-known for Roman remains, in part because it has remained a great city, but the evidence suggests that it was the military base. Civil power and society, and the most important place for Roman Britons in the northern province, was likely to have been here."

The sweeping curve of the amphitheatre, which crowns a long series of discoveries at Aldborough, lay hidden because of changing fashions in archaeology, shortage of money for excavations and pressure for resources to go elsewhere.
Rose Ferraby, who has led a two-year survey of the village with Millett, said: "It was under our noses. I used to come here as a girl with my friends because the slope and terracing made it Aldborough's sledging hill.
"My grandad told me the story of the lost amphitheatre and I got more and more interested through doing odd jobs at the manor house, whose garden has plenty of Roman remains."

The spell cast over her by the village, where no deep digging is allowed without planning permission and all building projects, down to conservatories, have to have an archaeologist on watch, took her from a Harrogate comprehensive to Cambridge and then the British School of Archaeology in Rome.

"The whole of Aldborough – and as much land again around it – is a scheduled monument," she said. "Work over the years has pointed more and more towards the conclusion that it was somewhere very important in this part of the Roman empire. Mosaics have been discovered with inscriptions in Greek, a sure sign of cultured inhabitants. We were certain that there had to be an amphitheatre somewhere."

The breakthrough came with geomagnetic and ground radar in which more than a square mile of cottages and pasture were turned into a grid, which Ferraby, Millett and volunteer students paced with handheld scanners and others examined on a machine akin to a lawnmower. They called locals to a packed meeting this week to announce the amphitheatre had at last been tracked down.

Most of the tiered seats were quarried or hacked out centuries ago, but the high bank which forms the crown of Studforth Hill hides the surviving section. The geomagnetic scan detected a large mass of material and then tiering, which is crudely reflected by ridges in the grassy surface until it disappears under a small copse.

"We don't yet know whether the seats are stone, which would have been the best quality, or a mixture of timber and compacted earth which has been found at other sites in the UK," said Ferraby. "But there are at least four rows and an extra ridge of land behind the trees suggests that there may have been a fifth. Whatever the material, it would have been an imposing building."

Aldborough was thought for years to have been a Roman fort because of its impressive town walls, which include a long remaining stretch with curved lookout towers. The strategic position on Dere Street, up which the ninth Hispana legion marched to its unknown fate in Scotland in about 120AD, also pointed to a largely military function.

etc...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2011/ ... aldborough
 

rynner2

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#56
Roman port found at Caerleon on banks of River Usk

Archaeologists say the discovery of a 2,000-year-old port sheds new light on Wales' role in the Roman Empire.
A team from Cardiff University discovered the harbour outside the Roman fortress at Caerleon (Isca) during ongoing excavation work.
The remains are said to be well preserved and include the main quay wall, landing stages and wharves.
Excavation leader Dr Peter Guest said the port was a "major addition to the archaeology of Roman Britain".

Students using geophysical equipment, which can reveal outlines of buried structures, came across the remains of a site of large Roman buildings on the banks of the River Usk last year.
The buildings may have been market places, administrative buildings, bath houses and temples.
The excavation work, which also led to the discovery of the port, is said to have exceeded all expectations.

Dr Guest, senior lecturer in Roman archaeology at Cardiff University, said: "I think it's very important indeed for Caerleon because it allows us to see Caerleon in its immediate landscape so we now know there's this suburb of the fortress.
"Caerleon connected upstream with the hillier parts of Wales, and there were Roman forts at Abergavenny and Brecon, but if you go downstream you can go to Roman London but also the Loire Valley, the Bay of Biscay and the Mediterranean into the heart of the Roman world."

He said it was believed the port dated to a period when the legions were "fighting and subduing the native tribes in western Britain".
"It's incredible to think that this is the place where the men who took part in the conquest would have arrived," he added.
The port is only the second from Roman Britain to be discovered and excavated after London.

Dr Mark Lewis, of the National Roman Legion Museum in Caerleon, said everything learned about Caerleon was "immediately of international significance".
"There were three legions permanently based in Britain for most of the Roman period, and for 200 years from AD 74, the Second Augustan Legion was based in Caerleon," he said.
"At any one time in the Roman Empire, there are about 30 legions and one of them was permanently based here.
"It is always incredibly important."

He said the port was on a major scale and the other buildings discovered were "spectacular".
"We've got a good idea of the shape and outline of the buildings," he said.
"What that has shown up is that what Peter is excavating is one of the largest complexes of Roman buildings in Britain.
"It ranks with some of the largest in Europe."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-14628286
 
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#57
Sandford Heath's 'Roman Road' is excavated in Dorset
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-15240775

A Roman road may run underneath the path or nearby dating to AD43

Related Stories

Roman army's murder victim found
Roman burial ground found in city
More Roman road to be unearthed

An archaeological dig has begun on a Dorset footpath to determine whether or not it has Roman origins.

The straight path, known locally as "Roman Road", runs through Sandford Heath between Sandford and Station Road at Holton Heath.

Organisers say the path may have formed part of the main road between Wareham and Poole in the 18th Century.

It is also thought a Roman road runs underneath the path or nearby dating to AD43 when the Romans invaded Britain.

The excavation is part of the Sandford Heritage Project, which aims to raise awareness of the historical and natural heritage of the Sandford area.

Ben Buxton, project officer, said: "We are cutting into the surface of the footpath and extending a trench on the north side, because there are some banks and ditches here which may suggest a hidden earlier route.

"There are strong reasons to suggest there is a Roman road buried here because the path is on a land boundary between different estates, including the Drax Estate, which is commonplace in the history of Roman roads."

The trench starts in the middle of the footpath to allow pedestrians to pass by while the work is carried out.

The excavation is expected to take two weeks and will be directed by local archaeologist Lilian Ladle with the help of local volunteers.

The area has not been excavated in the past.

The project received £42,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
 

rynner2

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#58
Did the Romans leave London because of the miserable British weather?
By Graham Smith
Last updated at 12:59 PM on 5th November 2011

Their huge empire stretched all the way from northern Britain to the Egyptian desert.
But it seems the all-conquering Romans had an unexpected Achilles' Heel in the grim British weather.
Settlers suffered from poor health due to a lack of sunlight and a poor diet after they established Londinium in the 1st century AD, according to scientists.

Researchers at the Museum Of London are carrying out forensic tests on some of their 22,000 carefully-preserved skeletons of Londoners through the ages.
Lead scientist Dr Jelena Bekvalac said her team is focusing on the declining health of settlers during the 400 years of the Roman occupation.
She told the Times: 'You'd think in civilised Roman society, there would be buffers to aid you, but the climate is still going to have an effect and we see some signs of that.
'There may also have been illnesses that they were more susceptible to than the local population.'

The Romans' advanced standard of living has been well-chronicled and included building cities next to waterways, under-housing heating and public baths.
But settlers succumbed to malnourishment, due to a lack of fruit in London at the time, and illnesses caused by their damp environment, such as the flu.

The Romans buried their dead outside Londinium's city walls in the Western Cemetery, located under St Bartholomew's Hospital near St Paul's, and the Southern Cemetery, along the south side of the Thames in Borough.
Archaeologists at these sites unearthed skeletons buried next to personal items including coins, toys and jewellery.

The Museum Of London researchers found that 18 per cent of men buried in the Southern Cemetery suffered from gout, brought about by a lack of Vitamin C, as well as excessive consumption of alcohol and meat.
Eighty per cent of the remains at the Western Cemetery showed pits and furrows in tooth enamel.
The condition occurs when the natural process of tooth growth is interrupted, leading scientists to the conclusion that growing up in Londinium left settlers malnourished and suffering from general ill-health.

The Museum Of London's skeleton collection is the largest in the world for one city.
Earlier this year, scientists revealed how climate change could have been responsible for bringing down the Roman Empire.
Researchers studied ancient tree growth rings to show links between climate change and major events in human history such as migrations, plagues and the rise and fall of empires.

They discovered that periods of warm, wet weather coincided with period of prosperity, while droughts or varying conditions occurred at times of political upheaval such as the demise of the Roman Empire.
To match the environmental record with the historical one, researchers looked at more than 7,200 tree fossils from the past 2,500 years.
The study, published in the journal Science, said: 'Increased climate variability from AD 250 to 600 coincided with the demise of the Western Roman Empire and the turmoil of the Migration Period.
'Distinct drying in the third century paralleled a period of serious crisis in the western Roman Empire marked by barbarian invasion, political turmoil and economic dislocation in several provinces in Gaul.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... z1cw7byqTc
 

EnolaGaia

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#60
ramonmercado said:
Sandford Heath's 'Roman Road' is excavated in Dorset ...
The dig didn't last very long ... Here's an update ...

We have a result: the Roman Road is not a Roman road!


By day 3 of the dig (Wednesday) we had reached levels in the trench which indicated that there had been no disturbance of the soil for road building, and no layers which looked like road surfaces. Even where the trench cut into the surface of the Roman Road (which in its present form is probably 18th century) there was no sign of the surface, which we thought might be gravel. This is puzzling, as we know that the road was part of the Wareham to Poole road in the 18th century. It was then abandoned until it became a footpath about 50 years ago, and in that time there was a build up of organic material.


Throughout the trench there was a consistent heathland soil profile, known as podsol. The top layer was pale sand with gravel mixed in, then a dark organic layer, then a hard yellowy layer known as hardpan. The only disturbance to the soil profile resulted from cutting ditches, and creating low banks between them, parallel to the road on the north side, which are visible on the surface. We think these were cut in the early 19th century by landowner Henry Digby, who created a plantation of trees along the road here. The high bank immediately adjacent to the road was probably built at the same time. Explaining these features was another result of the dig.

http://sandfordheritage.org/roman-road-dig
 
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