Roman Britain: New Findings & Discoveries

rynner2

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#61
Roman brothel token discovered in Thames
A Roman coin that was probably used by soldiers to pay for sex in brothels has been discovered on the banks of the River Thames.
By Daily Telegraph Reporter
7:00AM GMT 04 Jan 2012

Made from bronze and smaller than a ten pence piece, the coin depicts a man and a woman engaged in an intimate act.
Experts believe it is the first example of its kind to be found in Britain. It lay preserved in mud for almost 2,000 years until it was unearthed by an amateur archaeologist with a metal detector.

On the reverse of the token is the numeral XIIII, which historians say could indicate that the holder handed over 14 small Roman coins called asses to buy it. This would have been the equivalent of one day’s pay for a labourer in the first century AD.
The holder would then have taken the token to one of the many Londinium brothels and handed it to a sex slave in exchange for the act depicted on the coin.

The token was found by pastry chef Regis Cursan, 37, who made the discovery near Putney Bridge in West London.
He told the Daily Mail yesterday: “The day I made the find it was a very low, early tide and raining heavily. At first I thought it was a Roman coin, because of the thickness and diameter.
“When I rubbed the sand off the artefact the first thing I saw was the number on one side and what I thought was a goddess on the other. Little did I know at the time it was actually a rare Roman brothel token. To find something like that is a truly exciting find.”

The token has been donated to the Museum of London, where it will be on display for the next three months. Curator Caroline McDonald said: “This is the only one of its kind ever to be found in Great Britain.
“When we realised it was a saucy picture, we had a bit of a giggle but there’s also a sad story behind it because these prostitutes were slaves.
“It has resonance with modern-day London because people are still being sold into the sex trade.”

The object, dated to around the first century AD, was protected from corrosion by the mud. Similar tokens have been found elsewhere in the Roman Empire, but this is the first time one has been unearthed in the UK.

Some historians believe the Romans invented prostitution in the modern sense.
It played a significant part in the empire’s economy – with sex workers required to register with the local authorities and even pay tax.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/899121 ... hames.html

"This token entitles the bearer to..." 8)
 

Yithian

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#64
rynner2 said:
“It has resonance with modern-day London because people are still being sold into the sex trade.”
Don't bother, Caroline.

It isn't and needn't be particularly relevant/resonant to London or the modern world any more than it would be any other major city. It's genuinely interesting in and of itself, and you can just leave it at that. Save the PC-nonsense for the funding applications.

Any why must we assume that all prostitution is coercive? For some it's a career choice.
 

rynner2

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I don't know where Ronson found that image, but it's clearly a No. 7 (VII), and seems to represent a blow job.

But the London token is a number 14 (XIIII), so what does that qualify for?! :shock:
 

Jerry_B

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#69
theyithian said:
Don't bother, Caroline.

It isn't and needn't be particularly relevant/resonant to London or the modern world any more than it would be any other major city. It's genuinely interesting in and of itself, and you can just leave it at that. Save the PC-nonsense for the funding applications.

Any why must we assume that all prostitution is coercive? For some it's a career choice.
I think she's referring more to the fact that prostitutes were slaves, often as not. So the element of choice there is not an option.
 
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#70
Roman kiln unearthed by builders at Norton Primary School
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-yo ... e-17366826

The county council said the find was one of the most significant in the area since the 1940s

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The remains of a Roman kiln have been discovered by builders working at a school in North Yorkshire.

The discovery was made during construction of a £1.5m extension at Norton Primary School near Malton.

North Yorkshire County Council said the kiln was the first major find in the area since the 1940s.

The kiln was found along with fragments of pottery. Archaeologists also uncovered ditches believed to be of a Romano-British date.

A Roman fort existed on the north side of the River Derwent at Malton and previous work at the school had uncovered Roman, medieval and post-medieval pottery.

An investigation of the site by an archaeological team was a condition of planning approval for work at the school.

The county council, which is responsible for the site, said the kiln was being excavated in such a way that it could be reconstructed elsewhere.

It would not be possible to preserve it on site.

Chris Metcalfe, North Yorkshire's executive member for the Historic Environment Team said: "This is a very exciting and significant find for the local community and for the school.

"As the excavation did not delay the building work this is still scheduled to complete on time.

"This is an excellent example of effective team work between building contractors and archaeologists."

A report on the kiln will be submitted to the county's Historic Environment Record on completion of all the work at the site.
 

rynner2

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Hoard of Roman coins found near Roman Baths in Bath

More than 30,000 Roman coins have been found by archaeologists working on the site of a new hotel in Bath.
The silver coins are believed to date from 270AD and are being described as the fifth largest hoard ever found.
They were discovered by archaeologists working 150 metres from the historic Roman Baths.
The coins are fused together and have been sent to the British Museum. Conservators are expected to take at least a year to work through them.

A campaign has been started by officials at the Roman Baths to try to raise £150,000 to acquire and display the collection which has become known as the Beau Street Hoard.
The size of the hoard found in Bath is not as large as the Frome Hoard in April 2010 when more than 53,500 coins were discovered by metal detectorist Dave Crisp near Frome in Somerset.
The coins found in this hoard date from a similar time and are thought to be the largest ever discovered in a Roman town in the UK.

Roman Baths spokesman Stephen Clews said the find had been declared treasure trove.
"We've put in a request for a formal valuation and then hope to buy the coins to display them at the baths.
"At the time there was a lot of unrest in the Roman Empire so there may be some explanation for why the coins were hidden away.
"The find is also unusual as it was discovered by professional archaeologists as opposed to an amateur using a metal detector," he added.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-17480016
 

rynner2

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#72
Not strictly Britain, but close enough! ;)

Roman and Celtic coin hoard found in Jersey

One of Europe's largest hoards of Iron Age coins has been unearthed in Jersey, according to an expert.
The Roman and Celtic coins, which date from the 1st Century BC, were found by two metal detector enthusiasts.

Dr Philip de Jersey, a former Celtic coin expert at Oxford University, said the haul was "extremely exciting and very significant".
The hoard is likely to be worth millions of pounds with each individual coin worth between £100 and £200.

The exact number of coins found has not been established but archaelogists said the hoard weighed about half a tonne. :shock:

The exact location of the hoard has not been revealed by the authorities.
It was found by Reg Mead and Richard Miles in a field in the east of Jersey.
They had been searching for more than 30 years after hearing rumours that a farmer had discovered silver coins while working on his land.

Mr Mead and Mr Miles worked with experts from Jersey Heritage to slowly unearth the treasure.
A large mound of clay containing the coins has now been taken to the Jersey archive centre to be examined.
It is the first hoard of coins found in the island for more than 60 years.

Several hoards of Celtic coins have been found in Jersey before but the largest was in 1935 at La Marquanderie when more than 11,000 were discovered.

Dr de Jersey said it would take months for archaelogists to find out the full value of the haul.
He said: "It is extremely exciting and very significant. It will add a huge amount of new information, not just about the coins themselves but the people who were using them.
"Most archaeologist with an interest in coins spend their lives in libraries writing about coins and looking at pictures of coins.
"For me as an archaeologist, with an interest in coins, to actually go out and excavate one in a field, most of us never get that opportunity. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity."

The ownership of the coins is unclear. Mr Mead said he had asked the States of Jersey for clarification.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-jersey-18579868

Two 'name' coincidences in this story: the coins were discovered by two men with the initials RM; and Dr de Jersey got to go to Jersey to help uncover them! 8)
 
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#73
Roman dig reveals early Christian graves
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-19097827

The discoveries were in "remarkable condition"

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Early Christian graves recently unearthed by archaeologists are to be the highlight of daily tours of Maryport Roman fort.

Visitors to Senhouse Roman Museum, which is at the fort, will find out what happens during excavations.

They will also be able to see recently unearthed evidence of Christian graves during the daily tours until 14 August.

A spokesman for the museum said the discovery of the graves was exciting and shed "new light" on the Dark Ages.

Remnants from the grave include bone fragments, caps of tooth enamel, and a thumbnail-sized piece of textiles.

Peter Greggains, of the Senhouse Museum Trust, said: "The Maryport site's importance as a unique and valuable resource capable of providing information about the remote past has been established beyond doubt, and we now have new light on the Dark Ages."

Child's grave
Tony Wilmot, site director said: "It will take a while to process all the information following the dig, but what we think we're looking at now is a Christian cemetery close to a sequence of Christian religious buildings.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

The Maryport site's importance as a unique and valuable resource”

Peter Greggains
Senhouse Museum Trust
"If this is the case, then this is a very exciting discovery - an early post-Roman Christian religious site occupied at the same time as other famous early Christian sites at Whithorn and Hoddom in nearby Dumfriesshire."

A number of graves have been revealed, and it is believed a very small stone-lined grave is the resting place of a child.

The dig site will be open to visitors from 1100 BST to 1600 BST to 14 August.
 
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#74
Roman altar found at Maryport dig
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-19224154

The altar is on display at Senhouse Roman Museum

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'Fantastic results' at Roman dig
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An altar has been discovered at the site of a Roman fort in Cumbria, the first such find for 142 years.

The inscribed artefact was uncovered intact during an archaeological dig on the edge of Maryport.

It was described as in "beautiful condition" and because it was face down in a pit its dedication to the god "Jupiter Optimus Maximus" was intact.

The altar will join 17 others unearthed by landowner Humphrey Senhouse in 1870 which are in the town's Roman museum.

The manager of the Senhouse Roman Museum described the altar as "rare and special".

Dated to the 2nd or 3rd Century AD, it was inscribed on behalf of Titus Attius Tutor, commander of the First Cohort of Baetasian, which came to Maryport from what is now the Netherlands.

'Over the moon'
It was found on Wednesday by John Murray, a volunteer on the dig, who said it "felt fantastic" to be the first person to touch it for at least 1,600 years.

The location was in a large pit which would once have underpinned a massive timber edifice, occupying the highest point of the ridge overlooking the Solway Firth and Maryport's Roman fort.

Professor Ian Haynes, from Newcastle University, said the find confirmed the theory that at some point the altars lost their significance and were used by the Romans in building work.

Previously, it was thought that the altars were ritually buried.

He added: "Finds like this don't come up very often, so I think people are over the moon actually.

"It's really a tremendous reward for all the hard work they've put into the site."
 

rynner2

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#75
Roman marble coffin sells for £96,000

A Roman marble coffin has sold at auction for £96,000.
The 7ft (2.1m) sarcophagus was being used as a trough to stand flowers in in the garden of a house in Dorset, where its significance was recognised by Guy Schwinge, a Dorchester auction valuer.

Mr Schwinge described how he spotted the coffin "peeping out from under some bushes" during a routine valuation.
"As I drew closer I realised I was looking at a Roman sarcophagus of exceptional quality," he said.

Mr Schwinge, of Duke's in Dorchester, discovered the family had acquired the sarcophagus almost 100 years ago at auction.
An auction catalogue from 1913 shows the coffin was imported to Britain by Queen Victoria's surveyor of pictures, Sir John Robinson, who lived at Newton Manor in Swanage, Dorset.
"When I saw the name Duke's on the front (of the catalogue) I couldn't believe it," Mr Schwinge said.

The rectangular sarcophagus is carved from fine quality white marble, said a spokesman for Duke's, who sold the coffin for a second time.
The quality of the carving suggests it was made for a high status individual.
Experts from the British Museum have estimated the sarcophagus dates from the 2nd Century.

The owners were "utterly delighted" with the sale, Duke's said.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-19878090
 
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Roman gold coin hoard found in St Albans is 'nationally significant'
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-be ... s-19965507

The stash - found on private land north of St Albans - is believed to be one of the largest Roman gold coin hoards discovered in the UK.

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A "nationally significant" hoard of Roman gold coins has been found by a metal detectorist in Hertfordshire.

The stash - found on private land north of St Albans - is believed to be one of the largest Roman gold coin hoards discovered in the UK.

The 159 coins date to the end of the 4th Century during the final years of Roman rule in Britain. After AD 408 no more coin supplies reached the country.

The value of the hoard has not yet been assessed.

A team from St Albans City and District Council museums' service investigated the site at the beginning of October to confirm the find.
n
The council said the coins were scattered across a fairly wide area and that there were "practically no other comparable gold hoards of this period".

They were mostly struck in the Italian cities of Milan and Ravenna and issued under the Emperors Gratian, Valentinian, Theodosius, Arcadius and Honorius.

Councillor Mike Wakely called it "an exciting find of national significance" and said the coins would go on display at Verulamium Museum.

'Extremely valuable'
David Thorold, from the museum, said that during Roman occupation, coins were usually buried either as a religious sacrifice to the Gods, or as a secure store of wealth to recover later.

"Threat of war or raids might lead to burial in the latter case, as may the prospect of a long journey, or any other risky activity," he said.

The curator added that gold coins were "extremely valuable" and not exchanged on a regular basis.

"They would have been used for large transactions such as buying land or goods by the shipload," he said.

"Typically, the wealthy Roman elite, merchants or soldiers receiving bulk pay were the recipients."

The 1996 Treasure Act legally obliges finders of historic metal objects to report their discovery to the local coroner who determines whether or not it constitutes treasure.
 
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#77
Water mains work unearths Roman cemetery in Somerset
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-20386002

Several Roman human remains were discovered at Banwell in Somerset

A Roman cemetery containing several human burials has been found during work on a new water mains in Somerset.

The finds were made by archaeologists during the laying of a four-mile (7km) long mains between Banwell and Hutton.

Among the skeletons, which have been exhumed for further study, there was one in a partially-preserved coffin.

A Bristol Water spokesman said the excavation had been described as "potentially the most important for 100 years in North Somerset".

The cemetery was discovered "isolated from the surrounding landscape" in a curved water-filled ditch.

Roman cemeteries, according to Neil Shurety from Border Archaeology, are generally sited outside settlements and away from areas of human habitation.

"In this case, the cemetery is evidently associated not with a town but with a villa site and it could thus represent a private burial ground serving a wealthy landowner and his immediate family," he said.

The human remains were orientated north-south "with the head to the north, which suggests a pre-Christian burial practice," said Mr Shurety.

Pottery and brooches
"One of these individuals seems to lie within a partially-preserved wooden coffin - constructed from timber planking," he added.

He said the site provided evidence of a "landscape almost continually in use for the last 5,000 years".

"It covers a period ranging from an intriguing prehistoric timber structure to a Roman cemetery and defensive ditches through medieval land management features to today's agricultural activity," he said.

The finds, which include an estimated 9,000 pieces of pottery, brooches, a coin of Constantine the Great and a pin of Roman date are due to go on display at Banwell Village Hall on 19 November.
 
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#78
Bit of a mystery.

Norwich Castle Museum set to acquire 'curious' treasure
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-20548502

The 20mm (0.78in) Roman gold disc was found near Keswick, Norfolk

A gold earring disc, found in Norfolk by a metal detector enthusiast, has left treasure experts baffled as to the exact meaning of its decoration.

Discovered in Keswick, near Norwich, the disc "is an unusual find for the Roman period", said a Norwich Castle Museum spokesman.

It features a scorpion, phallus, snake and crab, but the meaning of the combination "is lost" an expert said.

The Norwich museum hopes to acquire the disc for its collection.

The value of the item will now be determined by experts at the British Museum.

Erica Darch, from Norfolk Historic Environment Services and the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), said: "The thin sheet and repousse decoration [a technique used in metal work to decorate the surface of an object] resemble modern pressed sheet objects, but as I looked more closely it was obvious it was Roman.

"The exact significance of this combination of symbols is lost to us now although they are individually familiar.

"Phalli are fairly common as decorative motifs on Roman artefacts and are associated with good luck.

"This find almost certainly represents an accidental loss and it is easy to imagine the annoyance of the wealthy Roman woman who owned it when she realised it was missing."

Objects which may qualify as treasure must be reported to the coroner under the Treasure Act (1996).


The penannular ring, or "ring money", is thought to have be worn in the hair
An inquest by Norfolk coroner William Armstrong also pronounced a copper alloy and gold penannular ring from the late Bronze Age as treasure.

Dr Tim Pestell, senior curator of archaeology at Norwich Castle Museum, said: "They are more popularly known as ring money.

"They weren't used as currency, but almost certainly as personal adornments with one theory being they were worn in the hair.

"We've got a number of them in the castle collection already, but we felt because it's Bronze Age and gold we'd like to acquire it for the collection to show people."

It was found by Tony Beal in Thompson, near Watton. He said: "It could be worth up to £1,000. There's only three been found in Norfolk."

Ms Darch from the PAS added: "The complex construction of the pannanular ring demonstrates the skill and sophistication of metal working in the Bronze Age.

"These objects are an important and interesting part of the archaeological record and they demonstrate the wide variety of archaeological artefacts reported in the county."
 
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#79
Northamptonshire Roman town site looters condemned
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-no ... e-20799549

An illegal trench was dug by Cox and West' in their campaign of looting

English Heritage has hit out at the "thieves using metal detectors" who looted the site of a Roman town in Northamptonshire.

Peter Cox, 69, of Lancaster Street, High Ferrers and Darren West, 51, of Duck Street, Rushden, stole artefacts from a monument at Chester Farm.

Both admitted two counts of theft and were handed a suspended sentence at Northampton Crown Court on Wednesday.

English Heritage praised the work of the police and prosecutors.

Both received a 52 week sentence suspended for two years and ordered to pay £750 costs and £750 compensation.

The prosecution involved English Heritage, Northamptonshire Police, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the British Museum.

English Heritage said the Northamptonshire County Council-owned site "is most significant for its surviving remains of a Roman walled town that includes roads, temples and many other buildings".

The site has long suffered from trespassers, and a Grade II* listed 16th and 17th century farm house on the site was seriously damaged by arson in 2010.


Northampto?nshire Police took a plaster cast of tool marks after Cox and West dug trenches
Northamptonshire Police launched an investigation after two English Heritage officers witnessed the two men metal detecting on the site last July.

Damage was caused to the monument, known as a scheduled monument after being included on a protected list or schedule because of its historical importance, by the excavation of trenches, which had been illegally dug in search of artefacts.

Police arrested the men and in a raid on their homes found a large number of Iron Age, Roman and medieval coins, metal artefacts and pottery, along with metal detecting equipment and documents relating to the monument.

Experts from the British Museum helped to identify and date the archaeological finds.

Mike Harlow, Governance and Legal Director of English Heritage, said: "The sentence today sets an important watershed in the combat against illegal metal detecting and acknowledges its true impact on society.

"These are not people enjoying a hobby or professionals carrying out a careful study. They are thieves using metal detectors like a burglar uses a jemmy.

"The material they are stealing belongs to the landowner and the history they are stealing belongs to all of us. Once the artefacts are removed from the ground and sold the valuable knowledge they contain is lost for ever."

Ch Insp Nick Lyall, of Northamptonshire Police, said: "After an extensive joint investigation between many agencies we are happy with today's court result. It will send a clear message to those that want to disrupt historic sites in the future."
 
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#80
Roman settlement remains found at Kingskerswell bypass
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-20791039

Pottery was among the finds in Kingskerswell

The remains of what is believed to be a 2,000-year-old Roman settlement have been uncovered at the construction site of a new bypass.

Artefacts discovered in Kingskerswell include fragments of pots thought to be imported from southern Europe. Trenches used for defence were also found.

Devon county archaeologist Bill Horner said it was an "exciting find".

The artefacts will eventually go on show at Exeter's Royal Albert Memorial Museum.

Locals 'Romanised'
Demolition work began in October to clear the route ready for the road linking Torbay and Newton Abbot.

The quantity and the quality of the finds suggested the people who lived there would have been part of the local ruling elite who were becoming "Romanised", Mr Horner said.


Remains of medieval buildings were also found
He said: "The Romans conquered the South West and, for much of the later 1st Century AD, the area was a military zone.

"After the army moved north to conquer the rest of the population, the native elite were becoming more Romanised, and assimilating into the Roman Empire and economy."

As well as the Roman finds, archaeologists also turned up evidence of 800-year-old medieval buildings.

The discoveries are not expected to delay the construction of the £110m, 5.5km (3.4 mile) bypass, construction managers said.

Devon County Council hopes the road will be completed by December 2015.
 

rynner2

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#81
This sounds interesting: today on C4:
Time Team
Channel 4, 5:25pm to 6:25pm
Series 21, Episode 1

Archaeology series. Tony Robinson and the team explore a spectacular site at Brancaster in Norfolk, which is believed to have been a Roman 'shore-fort'. The experts hope excavations will determine how large it was, what it looked like and whether it was one of the key military outposts of Roman Britain. As the Team search for answers they stumble on thousands of finds, including a legionary's armour in a previously hidden chamber. The Team also take on a high-definition geophysics survey covering 24 acres.
 

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#82
Roman toilet paper mistaken for toys

Ancient artifacts in a British museum have been reclassified as Roman toilet paper. Previously they were displayed as gaming pieces until researchers took another look at them. The artifacts are made of ceramic, and would have been rather - uncomfortable.

Dr. Robert Symmons, curator of the Fisbourne Roman Palace in West Sussex, has announced that new research indicates the ceramic disks, once identified as gaming pieces, were used as sanitary devices, the ancient equivalent of toilet paper.

The research was published in the British Medical Journal.

According to researchers, the rounded disks, called pessoi, were commonly used by Romans to wipe their backsides after using the facilities. Researchers say that despite the rounded edges, the disks would have been uncomfortable by modern standards.

It is commonly known that Romans often used wet sponges to wipe themselves, but the pessoi were also used in many circumstances.

Close inspections of similar disks unearthed in Athens and dating to the Roman era, shows that Romans often inscribed the names of people they did not like on the disks before using them - likely for fun.

A matching Greek proverb was also cited by Phillipe Charlier, a French Professor who was quoted in the Daily Mail, saying "Three stones are enough to wipe..." The full proverb is specific about what was being wiped and hints at the ancient Roman practice of using the pessoi for personal hygiene.

For the past 50 years, one museum in England displayed their pessoi as broken gaming pieces. Now they will need to be reclassified.

The recent revelations also sheds light on the real reason why archaeologists and curators often handle unknown ancient artifacts with latex gloves.
Source: http://www.catholic.org/international/i ... p?id=49372

Oh wow - their backsides must have been a lot tougher than ours! :shock:
 

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#84
Mythopoeika said:
People in many parts of rural Africa use small pebbles, if they can't find any suitable leaves.
Apparently you should suck small pebbles when your mouth is dry, to stimulate saliva glands, when in areas where water is scarce. Like rural Africa, I suppose...
 

Zilch5

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#86
rynner2 said:
This sounds interesting: today on C4:
Time Team
Channel 4, 5:25pm to 6:25pm
Series 21, Episode 1

Archaeology series. Tony Robinson and the team explore a spectacular site at Brancaster in Norfolk, which is believed to have been a Roman 'shore-fort'. The experts hope excavations will determine how large it was, what it looked like and whether it was one of the key military outposts of Roman Britain. As the Team search for answers they stumble on thousands of finds, including a legionary's armour in a previously hidden chamber. The Team also take on a high-definition geophysics survey covering 24 acres.
I love that show - I usually come home in time to watch it.
 

Zilch5

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#87
An incredibly rare Roman coin discovered in Acle has been donated to Norwich Castle Museum.

The coin - only the second of its kind known in the world - was unearthed by Dave Clarke during the Springfield archaeology dig last summer.

Acle Parish Council has sent the ancient artefact to Norwich where it may go on display and will be used by experts to identify and date other coins.

The coin dates from AD 312 when Emperor Constantine I ruled the Roman world. The only other example was found in the 18th Century and is on show in Lisbon.
 

rynner2

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#88
'Flower pot' Roman coffin sold for £40,000
A Roman coffin used by a couple to hold plants in their garden for 30 years has sold for £40,000 at auction.
11:53AM GMT 15 Feb 2013

A rare Roman treasure that was used as a flower pot for the last 30 years was sold at auction yesterday for £40,000.
The marble coffin dating back to the first or second century AD went under the hammer at Henry Duke's in Dorset.
An overseas dealer paid £40,000, plus a 19.5 per cent buyers' premium for the relic.

Its owners, who wished to remain anonymous, had used the coffin as a garden trough at their home in Northumberland.
They read about a similar sarcophagus being discovered in a garden last year and contacted experts to verify the find.

Guy Schwinge, of Dukes, said last month: “It dawned on them that they had something that looked rather similar on the far side of their lawn.
"They emailed me some pictures and after I saw them I got on the next flight to Newcastle.
"I found it sat on the grass, filled with plants. It is quite exceptional for a something of this importance to turn up unrecognised in a garden.”

The 6ft 9in, one-tonne marble coffin - probably used by an aristocratic Roman family - is intricately carved and almost identical to another kept in The Vatican.
Experts believe the 6ft 9in (2.06m) coffin, engraved with a central panel of The Three Graces, could date from the Hadrianic period, named for the reign of Emperor Hadrian from 117 to 138AD. The era was known for its rapid architectural and sculptural development.
The Three Graces panel is flanked by torch-bearing putti and fluted panels.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/ga ... 40000.html
 
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Remains of two Roman roads found in Chester
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-me ... e-21530787

Exploration trenches being dug at the Odeon cinema on Hunter Street

Archaeologists exploring the foundations of a new theatre being built in Chester have discovered the remains of two Roman roads.

The roads are made from sandstone rubble and gravel and run parallel with the present Northgate Street.

They were found in exploration trenches being dug at the abandoned Odeon cinema on Hunter Street.

Fragments of Roman and medieval pottery have been also been found, Cheshire West and Chester Council said.

Mike Morris, historic environment project manager, said the site lies in the northern part of a former Roman fortress which includes barrack blocks and accommodation. It could also have been part of the governor's enclave.

He said: "While it is still too soon to make definite forecasts, the excavations may well give us a clue to the purpose of a large mystery building believed to have been sited within the area.

"Most Roman fortresses across Europe were built to the same pattern, but Chester is certainly larger than most and one theory about the building is that its purpose was to house visiting dignitaries."

The planned £40.5m theatre venue will also incorporate a cinema and the city's library.
 

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'Entire streets' of Roman London uncovered in the City

An archaeological dig in the heart of the City "will transform our understanding" of Roman London, experts claim.
About 10,000 finds have been discovered, including writing tablets and good luck charms.
The area has been dubbed the "Pompeii of the north" due to the perfect preservation of organic artefacts such as leather and wood.
One expert said: "This is the site that we have been dreaming of for 20 years."

Archaeologists expect the finds, at the three acre site, to provide the earliest foundation date for Roman London, currently AD 47.
The site will house media corporation Bloomberg's European headquarters.
It contains the bed of the Walbrook, one of the "lost" rivers of London, and features built-up soil waterfronts and timber structures, including a complex Roman drainage system used to discharge waste from industrial buildings.
Organic materials such as leather and wood were preserved in an anaerobic environment, due to the bed being waterlogged.

Museum of London archaeologists (MOLA), who led the excavation of the site, say it contains the largest collection of small finds ever recovered on a single site in London, covering a period from the AD 40s to the early 5th Century.

Sadie Watson, the site director for MOLA, said: "We have entire streets of Roman London in front of us."
At 40ft (12m), the site is believed to be one of the deepest archaeological digs in London, and the team have removed 3,500 tonnes of soil in six months.

More than 100 fragments of Roman writing tablets have been discovered. Some are thought to contain names and addresses, while others contain affectionate letters.
A wooden door, only the second to be found in London, is another prize find.

MOLA's Sophie Jackson said the site contains "layer upon layer of Roman timber buildings, fences and yards, all beautifully preserved and containing amazing personal items, clothes and even documents."
The site also includes a previously unexcavated section of the Temple of Mithras, a Roman cult, which was first unearthed in 1954.

The preserved timber means that tree ring samples will provide dendrochronological dating for Roman London, expected to be earlier than the current dating of AD 47.
The artefacts are to be transported back to the Museum of London to be freeze-dried and preserved by record, as the site will eventually become the entrance to the Waterloo and City line at Bank station.

Once Bloomberg Place is completed in 2016, the temple and finds from the excavation will become part of a public exhibition within Bloomberg's headquarters.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-22084384

Truly an Earth Mystery - such finds could exist almost anywhere beneath our feet, but they're only discovered when major redevelopment threatens.
 
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