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Giant stone Bosham Head was Roman emperor

A giant stone head unearthed in West Sussex more than two centuries ago has been identified as a statue of a Roman emperor dating back to AD 122.
Bournemouth University archaeologists used 3D scanners to examine the 26-stone (170kg) head, found in Bosham.
Dr Miles Russell and Harry Manley believe the 'Bosham Head', part of The Novium museum collection in Chichester, was a statue of Roman Emperor Trajan.
It is the largest Roman statue found in Britain, the experts said.

The head, which is twice life-size, was discovered in the garden of a vicarage in about 1800.
The 3D scanner enabled the experts to pick out facial features and a distinctive hairstyle, which led them to conclude it was Emperor Trajan.

Dr Russell, a senior lecturer in prehistoric and Roman archaeology, believes the statue, made of Italian marble, was set up by Trajan's successor, Hadrian, on a visit to Britain in AD 121-122 and would have greeted visitors as they entered Chichester Harbour.
A similar statue of Emperor Trajan was also put up by Hadrian at Ostia Harbour, in Rome.

Dr Russell said: "The statue is one of the most important finds from Roman Britain and would certainly have been the most impressive.
"The problem is because the face has been so battered by weathering - possibly because it was in the sea at one point - people have felt for the last 200 years that there's not enough left of the face to be that precise on its identification.
"It is a shame that it has been ignored and overlooked for so long, but now that laser scanning has helped resolve its identity, hopefully it will now take pride of place."


Bosham (pr. Bozzom) is hardly at the entrance to Chichester harbour, but Bosham Hoe could qualify. If the harbour was deeper in Roman times, then vessels might have regularly gone up to the city of Chichester, and Bosham Hoe would have been on the north shore of the channnel. OS maps of the area show numerous Roman remains, including the Roman Palace at Fishbourne, just west of Chichester.

(There is a canal from the harbour to the city, but that only dates to the 1820s:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chichester_Ship_Canal )
Peterborough solar farm: Archaeologists unearth Roman finds
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-ca ... e-24835569

Pottery believed to be from a Roman settlement

Part of a pot believed to be from a Roman settlement at Newborough

Roman pottery, evidence of a Roman settlement and "possibly Saxon" artefacts have been found at a proposed solar farm site near Peterborough.

The land at Newborough is being excavated ahead of a city council decision about the solar farm plan.

Richard O'Neill, from Wessex Archaeology, described the finds as "locally and regionally significant".

Work is expected to continue for three weeks, after which the council will consider the archaeologists' report.

Plans for the solar energy farm at three council-owned sites at Newborough, Morris Fen and America Farm were put on hold after English Heritage stepped in suggesting the area could be "nationally important".

'Not a Flag Fen'
Mr O'Neill described the finds at Newborough as "the most interesting".

"We've got a number of fragments of pottery dating from between the 1st and 3rd Centuries AD, and one potential Romano-British settlement.

"It's quite a small farmstead with perhaps a number of roundhouses," he said.

"We've also identified a couple of sites that may be late prehistoric, possibly settlements or funerary sites which we still need to look at."

Mr O'Neill confirmed experts were examining artefacts believed to date from the Saxon era.

Archaeologist Dr Francis Pryor discovered the nearby Bronze Age settlement of Flag Fen in 1982 which comprises thousands of timbers connecting Whittlesey Island with Peterborough and was used for ritual and worship for 1,000 years.

He believes the three sites could be historically significant.

"The edges of the Fen are where people have stayed and settled in prehistory, and there's absolutely no reason why there shouldn't be another Flag Fen out there, or a site that we can't imagine," he said.

Mr O'Neill said the discoveries made so far were "not a Flag Fen, but of local and regional significance".

Archaeologists are expected to continue excavating for three weeks, although Mr O'Neill said work would continue beyond that if evidence of older settlements was found.

Nick Harding, from the City Council's planning services department, said: "We will discuss the results of the survey with English Heritage and that will help us decide what to do next.

"The relative quality and the rarity of the finds... will determine how best to deal with them, whether that involves keeping developments clear of those sensitive areas or whether once those sites are recorded for posterity they can be covered over and development allowed to continue.

"Clearly we are not at a stage to make that decision yet."
'Roman child's coffin' opened for first time

Lead coffin

Scientists said early analysis showed the top of the coffin was full of clay silt

A coffin dating back more than 1,600 years has been opened by scientists in a bid to learn more about life and death in Roman Britain.

Tests being carried out are expected to confirm later this week that it contains the remains of a child.

Made of lead, the coffin was discovered last month in a field in Witherley, west Leicestershire.

Scientists said they hoped it would reveal more about the culture of Roman Britain and even Romans' diets.

They had previously used an endoscope to probe inside the coffin, but said it was "almost entirely full of clay silt".

Stuart Palmer, from Archaeology Warwickshire, which is leading the work, said the contents could also show more about burial rites, clothing, disease and even drug use at the time.

The group is asking for the public's help in naming the child, running a poll on its website.

Continue reading the main story
Field in Leicestershire
The coffin was found by in a field in west Leicestershire, not far from the ancient Roman road of Watling Street
Continue reading the main story
'Rare and exciting'
The lead coffin was discovered by metal detecting enthusiasts Chris Wright and Steve Waterall.

Mr Wright, 30, from Derby, is a member of the Digging Up the Past Club. He discovered the coffin three weeks ago during an organised dig.

He has been a member of the club for about a year and his most impressive find was a Crimean War medal until the coffin.

He said he initially thought he had found a hoard but was thrilled when he realised it was a grave.

"The response I've had has been interesting," he said.

"To be associated with an object that will help build a picture of what this period was like is an honour."

Archaeology Warwickshire spokesman Stuart Palmer said: "It's important because it's a rare opportunity to look at the burial customs, the environment and the type of clothing.

"At the moment we don't know - it's all guesswork. We hope it will shed much needed light on a remote period of our past."

Before Monday, analysis of the coffin had shown it was made from a single sheet of lead, with hammer marks still visible. The corners were sealed with molten lead.

Archaeologists believe the coffin belongs to the child of a wealthy family and represents an early example of Christian burial.

Mr Palmer said the find was as exciting as the recent discovery of King Richard III's skeleton beneath a Leicester car park.

"This is a different story and will allow us to ask different sorts of questions," he said.
The group is asking for the public's help in naming the child, running a poll on its website.
Talk about turning a story of historical interest into childish trivia. :roll:
Ronson8 said:
The group is asking for the public's help in naming the child, running a poll on its website.
Talk about turning a story of historical interest into childish trivia. :roll:

To be fair they are trying to get the public (children in particular) more interested in archaeology. The tories have noticed that it doesn't turn a profit.
Ancient skeleton found in North Yorkshire sewer trench
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-yo ... e-25223852

Skeleton found in a sewer in Norton, North Yorkshire

The discovery was made by contractors working on sewers under Sutton Street in Norton-on-Derwent

An ancient skeleton, thought to date back to Roman Britain, has been discovered in a sewer trench.

Contractors from Yorkshire Water were installing sewers in Norton near Malton when they made the discovery.

Chris Pole, of Northern Archaeological Associates, said the site was formerly a Roman cemetery.

The "remarkably intact" skeleton has been removed for tests to determine its age, sex, and, if possible, a cause of death.

Two new sewers were being installed under Sutton Street in the village of Norton-on-Derwent when the skeleton was found two metres below the road.

Map showing where the skeleton was found
The skeleton was found in a sewer on Sutton Street in Norton-Upon-Derwent, North Yorkshire
Mr Pole, the project archaeologist for the site, said a Roman cemetery was located alongside the adjacent Langton Road, which follows a similar line to a Roman road leading south-east from the Roman fort at Malton and the settlement of Derventio (Norton).

Mr Pole said bodies were not buried within the limits of a town in Roman times because this was regarded as unclean.

Because of the position of the skeleton there was also a chance it could be older than Roman, Mr Pole said.

"It was in a crouched or foetal position, possibly mirroring birth and was located within the limits of a Roman cemetery but it has similarities with burials of prehistoric date," Mr Pole said.

"No grave goods were placed with the burial," he added.

Other skeletons were uncovered nearby when St Peter's Church was built in the 19th century.

The skeleton has been taken to archaeological offices in Barnard Castle for further analysis.
London skulls reveal evidence of Roman headhunting

Healed fracture to left of cheek bone

Headhunters would collect the heads of dead enemies as trophies
Dozens of skulls excavated in London have provided the first evidence of a possible burial ground for Roman headhunting victims in the capital.

The remains of 40 Romans were found at 52-63 London Wall in 1988 but forensic analysis has only recently finished.

Forensic experts have said the City of London location is the likely burial site of Roman headhunter victims or defeated gladiators and possibly both.

A Museum of London spokeswoman said the findings were a "tantalising prospect".

After the remains were excavated, they were deposited in the nearby Museum of London, but it was only recently that forensic analysis was completed.

'Bloodthirsty Romans'
The resulting article, Headhunting and amphitheatre combat in Roman London, revealed the skulls could have been the victims of headhunters, who would collect the heads of dead enemies as trophies.

Londinium reconstruction
Londinium served as a major commercial centre for the Roman Empire
The research showed that almost all the skulls are of adult males and that violence was a common feature of their life.

Many had multiple healed wounds, one with a shattered cheek bone typical of a violent punch in the face and on some there is clear evidence of decapitation with a sword.

Dr Rebecca Redfern, from the Museum of London, said research had "led us to two possible outcomes - that these are fatally injured gladiators, or the victims of Roman headhunting - a tantalising prospect".

"The view of bloodthirsty Romans has wide currency, but this is the first time that we have evidence of these types of violent acts in London," she added.

"There is no evidence for social unrest, warfare or other acts of organised violence in London during the period that these human remains date from.

"The next step in the research is to look at where these people came from."
Roman Settlement Unearthed at Maryport
Fri, Feb 28, 2014
http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/03 ... t-maryport

Archaeologists are exposing new finds at the largest Roman period civilian settlement along the Hadrian's Wall frontier.
Roman Settlement Unearthed at Maryport

Archaeologists are intensely engaged at an archaeological site known as Maryport on the northwest coast of England. Touted as the largest known Roman period civilian settlement along the Hadrian's Wall frontier, geophysical surveys have revealed detailed information about the site, including lines of buildings, perhaps used as houses and shops, on either side of the excavated main street running from the north east gate of the ancient Roman fort.

In 2013, a team of archaeologists, students and volunteers excavated a section of the Roman road in the settlement, as well as buildings. They uncovered the outline of a building with a shop at the front and several rooms behind. They found various items including whetstones for sharpening blades and tools, glass beads and remains of pots for processing food. There is evidence pointing to a second floor, "probably where the shopkeeper and his family lived," report the investigative team leadership. They plan to continue the excavations in 2014.
Part of the excavated Roman road. Courtesy Hadrian's Wall Trust and the Roman Settlement Project.
Remains of the settlement building viewed from the east. Courtesy Hadrian's Wall Trust and the Roman Settlement Project.
Said Nigel Mills of Hadrian's Wall Trust: "We know very little about these civilian settlements because archaeologists have previously focused on the military aspects of the Roman frontier, excavating forts, milecastles and turrets.

"At Maryport we have an opportunity to look at what went on outside the fort and how soldiers and civilians interacted. We aim to excavate a complete building from where it fronted the main road through the settlement to the yards and work areas at the back. This year's excavation will uncover more of the building and hopefully enable us to understand what it was used for."
Later in the year the Senhouse Museum Trust and Newcastle University Roman Temples Project dig will take place at a different part of the site.

The Hadrian's Wall frontier zone is part of the first transnational world heritage site – Frontiers of the Roman Empire - which includes the Antonine Wall in Scotland and the German Limes. This represents the borderline of the Roman Empire at its furthest extent in the 2nd century AD. It stretched from the west coast of northern Britain, through Europe to the Black Sea, and from there to the Red Sea and across North Africa to the Atlantic coast.

There were over 30 forts on the 150 mile Roman frontier across the north of England, including 16 along the line of the 73 mile wall itself plus coastal, outpost and supply forts. Along the wall there were around 80 milecastles and 160 turrets, a ditch to the north and the great defensive vallum earthwork to the south.

The excavations are an important step toward the establishment of a long-term program of archaeological research at Maryport, which is a key element in the development of Roman Maryport under a partnership between the Hadrian's Wall Trust and the Senhouse Museum Trust.
For more information about becoming a volunteer on the settlement project dig contact Stephen Rowland [email protected]..

Arrangements for schools and visitors to the excavations will be posted on the Hadrian's Wall Trust's website www.visithadrianswall.co.uk .
Adapted and edited from a press release by Hadrian's Wall Trust.
Cambridge University archaeologists find 'oldest' Roman irrigation system
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-camb ... e-26630365

Roman irrigation system in Cambridge

It is thought the beds would have been used to grow grapes or asparagus

Excavations at a Cambridge University development have revealed what archaeologists believe is Britain's oldest-known Roman irrigation system.

Planting beds and pit wells were unearthed at the North West Cambridge site near Huntingdon Road.

Chris Evans from the university's archaeological unit said they dated from between 70 AD and 120 AD.

It was an "unparalleled discovery" and "effectively the first irrigation system we've seen", he said.

Excavations have so far uncovered evidence of settlements and habitation on the site from as early as the later Neolithic period, about 2800 BC to 2200 BC, to the Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman period as well as more modern finds including World War II practice trenches.

'New territory'
The team has been investigating how people through the ages adapted to living in an inland area away from main river valleys.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

I'm not aware of an irrigation system of this kind before”

Chris Evans
Cambridge University
"Our findings have unearthed zebra-like stripes of Roman planting beds that are encircled on their higher northern side by more deep pit wells," Mr Evans said.

"The gully-defined planting beds were closely set and were probably grapevines or possibly asparagus."

During dry spells water would have been poured from the wells into the ditches to irrigate crops, he added.

"I'm not aware of an irrigation system of this kind before," he said.

"There has been evidence of gardens and wells, but the extent to which there are planting beds arranged in parallel and along a slope, connecting directly to a water source, is new territory.

"It points to the sophisticated knowledge of hydrology and the introduction of horticulture the Romans had."

Excavation is continuing at the 370-acre (150 hectares) planned development on Cambridge University farmland between Huntingdon Road, Madingley Road and the M11.

The site is expected to include 3,000 homes and accommodation for 2,000 postgraduate students, together with research and community facilities.
Maryport Roman settlement: Dig unearths 'lost harbour'

Archaeologists unearthing the remains of a Roman fort on the west coast of Cumbria have discovered what is believed to be a lost Roman harbour.
Oxford Archaeology and a team of volunteers are excavating an extramural settlement at Maryport Roman fort.
The team has now unearthed what is believed to be an earlier fort and lost Roman harbour to the north of the site.

Site director John Zant said they were now trying to "piece together" the "complex story" of the site.
The project is exploring part of the fort's civilian settlement to "build up a picture" of what ordinary life was like.

Believed to be founded before AD120, historians say the stone fort was an "integral part" in coastal defences extending down the Cumbrian coast from Hadrian's Wall.
The civilian settlement, which lies north-east of the fort, is believed to be the largest currently known along the Hadrian's Wall frontier.

Philanthropist Christian Levett, who is funding the project, said: "I'm particularly interested in the connections we're seeing across the Roman empire through the imported objects the team is finding such as amphorae, pottery and ornaments.
"Maryport is a remote but important part of the Roman world with a fascinating story. I'm looking forward to more information coming through as the team continues the detailed analysis after they leave the site."

The team has also found a variety of artefacts, including fragments of tableware imported from Gaul and the Rhineland, storage vessels that once contained Spanish olive oil and Gallic wines, fragments of glass vessels and several items of jewellery including a jet finger-ring and part of a decorated glass bangle.


The OS map shows a Roman road, and a fort named Alavna. But that is in Roman lettering: Wiki has this:
Alauna (denoted for academic convenience as Alauna Carvetiorum, Alauna of the Carvetii, to distinguish it from other places with the same name), was a fort in the Roman province of Britannia. Today it is known as Maryport in the English county of Cumbria (formerly part of Cumberland).

The fort was first established in around AD 122 as a command and supply base for the coastal defences of Hadrian's Wall at its western extremity. There are substantial remains of the Roman fort, which was one of a series of forts from Hadrian's Wall, intended to prevent the wall being outflanked by crossing the Solway Firth. Recent geo-magnetic surveys have revealed a large Roman town surrounding the fort. A recent archaeological dig discovered evidence of a second, earlier and larger fort next to, and partially under the present remains.

TimeScape Surveys (Biggins & Taylor), supported by a grant from the Maryport Heritage Trust, conducted a magnetometry geophysical survey of the Roman fort, vicus and their environs at Maryport. In addition, some targeted areas of resistivity survey were completed. The survey was conducted between May 2000 and September 2003 in several phases on land at Camp Farm, Maryport. At 72.5 hectares (170 acres), this represents the largest geophysical survey carried out on the northern Roman Frontier.

The survey has revealed multi-period activity, together with the possible location of a Roman port or causeway.


Bournemouth University dig finds 'significant' Roman remains

The discovery of five skeletons near the site of a Roman villa in Dorset has been described as "unique" and "significant" by archaeologists.
The two men and three women are thought to have been the owners and occupants of the villa in the mid 4th Century.
Miles Russell, of Bournemouth University, said: "It is the only time where a villa and occupants have been found in the same location in Britain."

The humans are thought to be three generations of the same family.
The remains were found about 100m (110 yds) from the villa, which was excavated last summer, near the village of Winterborne Kingston.
Mr Russell said that the find was unique, because "no-one has ever explored beyond the big house".
"It would be extremely odd [if these were not the occupants] given the closeness of the graves to the villa, the fact they are high status burials in an enclosure and there is grave goods with them," he said.
"You wouldn't just bury anyone in your own garden.

"This [find] could provide us with significant information, never retrieved before, about the state of health of the villa owners, their ancestry and where they came from.
"One of the big questions is whether the villas in the South West were owned by Britons who have become Roman or owned by people from another part of the empire who have come to exploit an under-developed rural area.

"All villas in this region are late-Roman, and our findings should tell us more about what life was like in this period of history."
The graves appeared to have once been surrounded by a palisade-like structure, which Mr Miles compared to a "family tomb".

Paul Cheetham, senior lecturer in archaeological sciences and project co-director, said: "We are looking at the rural elite of late-Roman Britain, living through the economic collapse that took place during this period.
"These remains will shed light on the final stages of the golden age of Roman Britain."

Precious coins lay undisturbed for 2,000 years

A precious hoard of Roman and Late Iron Age coins has been discovered in a British cave where they have lain undisturbed for more than 2,000 years.

The treasure trove was unearthed by a member of the public, who stumbled across four coins in the cavern in Dovedale in the Peak District, sparking a full-scale excavation.

Experts say the find is highly unusual as it is the first time coins from these two separate civilisations have been buried together.

The setting itself adds to the mystery, as while Roman coins have often been found in fields, this is understood to be the first time they have been unearthed in a cave.

Archaeologists discovered 26 coins, including three Roman coins which pre-date the invasion of Britain in 43AD, and 20 other gold and silver pieces which are Late Iron Age and thought to belong to the Corieltavi tribe.

National Trust archaeologist Rachael Hall said whoever owned the “treasure” was probably a wealthy, influential figure. ...

http://www.irishexaminer.com/world/prec ... 74476.html
Zilch5 said:

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

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/ ... silchester
Silchester archaeological dig ends after 18 years
By Andrew Bomford, BBC Radio 4's PM programme

For 18 long summers, a quiet corner of Hampshire has resounded to the sound of tapping, scraping, and sloshing. But after Saturday all that will end.

Silchester - the site of one of Britain's longest running archaeological digs - has revealed many secrets since 1997.
It's thanks to the hard work of thousands of volunteers, students and staff from Reading University that we now know much more about Iron Age life, and the early Roman period around the time of the invasion of AD 43.

"It's been a great experience," said Professor Michael Fulford, who has directed the annual summer dig from the beginning.
"It's been particularly great to see so many generations of students coming through and starting their careers here."

From the wooden walkway, erected for the hundreds of onlookers who turn up each year, you can look down on the excavation of Insula IX - the square Roman block - bounded from north-south and east-west by a 1m deep slice through old Roman roads.

Down at the Iron Age street level, about 5ft below current ground level, there are regular post holes and beam slots - the ghostly outlines of buildings long gone. Here and there are the remains of old wells - often the best places to find pottery, left there as offerings to the gods.

Prof Fulford showed me one of the most recent finds - the outline of a huge building, 50m long - the biggest example of an Iron Age house ever found in Britain.
"We've agonised about it as to what it is, but all the experts seem to agree. What else can it be but a great hall? This is unparalleled in Britain, which makes it very exciting, but it also makes it challenging because there's nothing to compare it with."

In Iron Age times Silchester was known as Calleva, and the team believe it was founded around the year 30 BC by Commius, or one of his descendants.
Commius was king of a northern French tribe called the Atrebates, based around the modern French town of Arras, in what was then known as Gaul. Commius fell out with Julius Caesar and fled to Britain.

By the time of the Roman invasion in AD 43, Calleva was a flourishing settlement; rather than establish a new base in the area, the Romans took it over, renaming it Calleva Atrebatum, and establishing their famous municipal order on the somewhat organic development of the earlier town.

...Long article, with pics...

On a more prosaic note, a regular find here are sets of tweezers, ear scoops and nail cleaners - part of a Roman soldier's toilet set, showing that when they weren't subduing the rebellious early Britons, a Roman soldier liked nothing more than to sit down and do some personal grooming. 8)

Perhaps the most famous find at Silchester though was the bronze eagle, discovered during the Victorian period, and thought for many years to be part of an Imperial Roman standard.
It inspired Rosemary Sutcliff's book The Eagle of the Ninth, recently made into the Hollywood film The Eagle. These days it's believed to have been part of a statue, perhaps to the god Jupiter.

Prof Fulford and his team believe they've just about exhausted the site, and after Saturday the whole excavation will be filled in and returned to grassland. However another dig, focusing on the Iron Age period, is due to start nearby.

It leaves one of the biggest mysteries of all unanswered. Why, after 500 years of occupation, was Calleva abandoned?
"We just don't know," said Prof Fulford.
As the Romans might have put it, about the town as well as the dig:
"Omnibus rebus bonis finis est" - all good things come to an end.

Not so much 'new findings', as putting old findings back into place:

Temple of Mithras: How do you put London's Roman shrine back together?
Magazine Monitor
A collection of cultural artefacts

Sixty years ago, a Roman God was uncovered at a London building site. The excavations for the Temple of Mithras moved around but are now going back to the original site - how do you reconstruct a Roman temple, asks Tom de Castella.

The muddy find in September 1954 provoked urgent debate. Winston Churchill's cabinet discussed it three times. A huge new office block - for insurance firm Legal & General - was being built on the site of the Temple of Mithras, described as the Roman discovery of the century. Building work was stopped. People would be able to see it for two weeks before the remains were packed up and moved. A few hundred visitors were expected on day one. Instead about 35,000 queued round the block. Advertisers piled in: "In Londinium they believed in Mithras. In London they believe in Shell." Roughly 400,000 people saw it in all. Then the ruins began a peripatetic existence, including a stay at a builders yard in New Malden, before ending up being exhibited in the City 100 metres from where it was found.

Now the ruins are going back whence they came. Media giant Bloomberg is building its European HQ on land that takes in the original site. The Temple of Mithras will be reconstructed underneath the office block at the exact spot it was built in AD240 - ground level in Roman London is seven metres below today's city.

The last recreation of the temple - packed up in 2011 - had crazy paving. Not ideal for an all-male Roman cult inspired by Persian religion, says Sophie Jackson, archaeologist at the Museum of Archaeology London. But how do you put a Roman temple back together again?

Jackson and her colleagues have good records from 1954 and a team of stone masons to rebuild the temple using the original excavations. But they have no information about the colour of the temple, or the mortar that was used. They are calling on people who saw the 1954 dig to help out and send colour photos, cinefilm or oral memories.

Classical scholar Mary Beard is excited, but keen to dispel a myth about Mithras. "Get ready for misinformation: Mithraism NOT secret cult," she tweeted. There is nothing cultish in the modern sense, nobody hid their allegiance to Mithra, she says. He was popular with soldiers - it was a "very blokey" religion - and they would not have hid their allegiance. Unlike other Roman Gods, such as Jupiter, Mithraism was congregational in nature, Beard says.

There's one more thing. "When it was in the builders yard we know that a lot of items were pinched," says Jackson. So if there's a bit of Roman stone - better still mortar - in Gran's rockery, the Temple of Mithras would like it back. 8)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazin ... r-29309824
Roman 20,000 coins hoard 'among largest'

A hoard of 22,000 Roman coins has been unearthed near Seaton in east Devon.
The Seaton Down Hoard is believed to be one of the largest and best preserved 4th Century collections to have been found in Britain.
They were discovered last year by builder Laurence Egerton, 51, using a metal detector.
The Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter is launching an appeal to buy the coins so they can be put on display in the city.

Mr Egerton was searching near the previously excavated site of a Roman villa at Honeyditches in east Devon.
He said: "Initially I found two small coins the size of a thumbnail sitting on top of the ground.
"I decided to dig the earth at that spot and immediately reached some iron ingots which were laid directly on top of the coins.
"The next shovel was full of coins - they just spilled out over the field
." 8)

The hoard was declared treasure at an inquest in Devon earlier in September.
No value has yet been put on the hoard but it will be eligible to be bought after valuation by the Treasure Valuation Committee, a group of independent experts.
Experts believe the coins, worth about two years' wages for a Roman soldier, were buried in what was then a normal way to put away savings.

County archaeologist Bill Horner said the coins date back to between AD 260 and AD 348 and some bear the images of Emperor Constantine.
He said: "The majority of the coins are so well preserved that they were able to be dated very accurately.
"This is very unusual for Devon because the county, as a whole, has slightly acidic soil which leads to metals corroding.
"The soil in this area is chalky which is why they've survived so well."

People living in Roman Britain had healthier gums than their modern-day descendants, a feat of archaeological dentistry shows.

A team at King's College London and the Natural History Museum found only 5% of adults had gum disease in the Roman, and certainly pre-toothbrush, era.

Modern day smoking and type 2 diabetes are blamed for a figure of nearly one in three today.

But ancient Britain was certainly not a golden age of gleaming gnashers.

The smiles of our ancestors were littered with infections, abscesses and tooth decay, the study showed.

Grave investigation
The research group analysed 303 skulls from a burial ground in Poundbury, in Dorset. The skeletons, mostly of people who died in their 40s, dated from between AD 200 and AD 400. ...

Roman pond found at Barnham archaeological site

An ancient pond and Roman artefacts have been discovered in a West Sussex village by archaeologists.
The objects, dating back to AD100 show there was a Roman settlement in the village of Barnham, West Sussex County Council says.
Over the last six weeks, Roman pottery, ancient rubbish pits and ditches have been found at the site.
It is thought the settlement may have started in the late Iron Age before the Roman conquest in AD43.

The excavation work has been carried out as a condition of planning permission for the development of the county council's land at the former Angels and Hyde Nursery.

John Mills, the council's senior archaeologist, said: "All the archaeological features appear today as filled with pale grey silt, and it is usually easy to see that these must be silted-up ditches, pits and post-holes but a large round grey splodge on the site was puzzling everyone.
"Digging... showed it to be a shallow depression, which is now thought to be a silted up Roman pond.
"Most of the pits where the inhabitants were burying their household rubbish surrounded the pond."

Fragments of pottery found at the site showed that the inhabitants were getting their household pottery vessels from kilns in the Arun Valley, a council spokeswoman said.
Tiles, of the type used in under-floor heating in Roman stone buildings, were also found, which may indicate a more important Roman building nearby, she said.

Roman cemetery: Fifteen skeletons found at Ipplepen dig

A "major" Roman cemetery has been discovered during an archaeological dig in Devon.
Experts found 15 skeletons during the excavation of a Roman road at Ipplepen, near Exeter.
Tests on one of the skeletons showed the settlement was in use up to 350 years after the Roman period ended, which has surprised experts.
Archaeologists said the discoveries were both nationally and regionally important.



EDIT: Ipplepen is miles from Exeter - it's nearer to Torbay! :rolleyes:
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Archaeologists and a team of student and volunteer excavators continue to unearth clues to Roman life at the ancient Roman frontier fort and settlement of Maryport in the U.K.

The Roman fort and nearby civilian settlement at Maryport, under excavation since 2011 by the Roman Temples Project team, were a significant element of the coastal defenses forming the northwestern boundary of the Roman Empire for more than 300 years. They are part of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site which also includes Hadrian’s Wall, the Antonine Wall in Scotland and the German frontier.

This year’s dig has yielded more information about the layout of the temples area near the remains of the Roman fort and civilian settlement in fields next to the Senhouse Roman Museum. The team has also found a rare piece of Roman jewelry.

Roman hoard of 179 coins unearthed in farmer's field in St Levan Cornwall
By WBGraeme | Posted: December 23, 2015

A HOARD of Roman coins unearthed in a farmer's field in West Cornwall has been officially declared as treasure.
The 179 coins date from the reigns of famous emperors including Vespasian, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius and Commodus.
The earliest dates from 69 to 79 AD while the latest is from the reign of Postumus in 260 to 261 AD.

They were found by Morris Thomas using a metal detector in a field in the parish of St Levan, in the far south west of Cornwall.
An inquest in Truro today, by Cornwall coroner Emma Carlyon, heard they were discovered about a foot below the ground on a bed of stones.
The hearing was told that although 16 Roman coins were discovered in 2008 in the area, this latest haul should be considered as a separate find.

In a report to the coroner, Richard Abdy, from the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum, said the older coins were well worn, meaning they may have been in circulation for more than 100 years due to a shortage in currency in the far reaches of the Roman world.
All but two are of the denomination known as sestertius.

Anna Tyacke, a finds liaison officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme, said 173 coins were found in March while another six from the same stash were discovered in August.
She said Royal Cornwall Museum was interested in buying the artifacts for its collection.

Given their age, number and value, the coroner Dr Carlyon accepted that the coins should be classed as treasure.

Some nice Roman brothel tokens,



Roman villa unearthed 'by chance' in Wiltshire garden
17 April 2016 From the section Wiltshire

An "elaborate" Roman villa has been unearthed by chance by a homeowner laying electric cables in his garden in Wiltshire.
It was discovered by rug designer Luke Irwin as he was carrying out some work at his farmhouse so that his children could play table tennis in an old barn.
He uncovered an untouched mosaic, and excavations revealed a villa described as "extraordinarily well-preserved".
Historic England said it was "unparalleled in recent years".

Thought to be one of the largest of its kind in the country, the villa was uncovered in Brixton Deverill near Warminster during an eight-day dig. It is being compared in terms of its size and its owners' wealth to a similar, famous site at Chedworth in Gloucestershire.

Finds including hundreds of oysters, which were artificially cultivated and carried live from the coast in barrels of salt water, suggest that the villa was owned by a wealthy family.
The dig also turned up "extremely high status pottery", coins, brooches and the bones of animals including a suckling pig and wild animals which had been hunted.

"We've found a whole range of artefacts demonstrating just how luxurious a life that was led by the elite family that would have lived at the villa," said Dr David Roberts, of Historic England. "It's clearly not your run-of-the-mill domestic settlement."

Dr Roberts said the villa, built sometime between AD 175 and 220, had "not been touched since its collapse 1,400 years ago", which made it "of enormous importance".
"Without question, this is a hugely valuable site in terms of research, with incredible potential," he said. "It's one of the best sites I have ever had the chance to work on."

Roman coins unearthed in Devon prompt historians to redraw map of the empire
An archaelogical site in Devon suggests the southwest of England was 'less backward' and more influenced by Roman culture than previously thought
Jess Staufenberg

The boundary of the Roman Empire and its influence in Britain are being re-thought as the full significance of a discovery of coins in Devon begins to sink in.

The southwest of the country, which was previously thought to have rejected Roman influence, may actually have been intricately involved with Mediterranean culture given the presence of the Roman currency denarii, brooches, pottery and a Roman road.
Because the site at Ipplepen, 20 miles from Exeter, has only been excavated during one period every year since its discovery in 2009, archaeologists are only now confident of the significance of the site's secrets.

In an interview with The Independent, Stephen Rippon, professor of Landscape Archaeology at the University of Exeter and leader of the excavation, said the site's 1,000-year history challenged the idea that Devon had been mostly isolated from the Romans.
Instead, natives enjoyed wine and olive oil from eastern Mediterranean amphorae, as well as pottery from northern France and western Germany.
And a road, which suffered from pot holes and was re-surfaced four times to keep it in working order, has also been unearthed and likely continued 12 miles to nearby Totnes.

"The southwest peninsula has always been seen as this backward and remote region of Britain during the Roman Empire ‒ but actually it wasn't," Professor Rippon told The Independent.
"What we're seeing is that these people at Ipplepen were clearly picking and choosing elements of the Roman life and Roman identity that they liked. They have acquired a taste for a Romanised life."

Prior to this, archaeologists thought Roman influence stopped in Exeter, and the native British who took up its culture were those with Roman style-villas in Dorset and Gloucestershire.
But this Iron Age settlement in Devon proves that Roman trade and culture was seeping into this remote part of England by about the 50s AD under Emperor Claudius and through invasion by the renowned general, Vespasian.

Professor Rippon, however, said that the residents at Ipplepen retained their traditionally circular buildings and did not adopt Roman-style houses.
"One of the aspects of the site that I love is that you get these insights into daily life," he said.
"The road had ruts in it, for example, which shows they were using horse-drawn carts around here."

The team of archaeologists have also excavated a post-Roman era cemetery dated from the sixth to eighth century when Christianity had begun to spread across Britain.
The colossal discovery was made after two amateur metal detector enthusiasts, Jim Wills and Dennis Hewings, found a number of silver denarii and entered their findings into a large database called the Portable Antiquity Scheme.

Mr Wills said in 2012 it was "the find of a lifetime".
""I found the first Roman coin," he told the Torquay Herald Express four years ago.
"It was a small silver coin called a denarius. The coin was minted in Rome and was probably brought here by the Romans when they invaded in 43 AD."

Research into the site, which is being done by the University of Exeter, Portable Antiquity Scheme, the British Museum, Devon County Council and Cotswold Archaeology, will continue into next year.


I thought it was well known that Roman influence extended through Cornwall to Scilly.

Exploration of a drowned landscape : archaeology and history of the Isles of Scilly / Charles London : Batsford, 1985. ISBN 0-7134-4853-9

Prof Charles Thomas suggests there were Roman lighthouses on Scilly and Lands end.
Stud found in Walsingham links to East Anglia's Roman past

A silver stud found buried in a Norfolk village commemorated the quashing of Queen Boudicca's rebellion, an expert said.
Researcher Jacqueline Cahill Wilson said the stud, found in Walsingham, may have come from a Roman horse harness.
It could have belonged to the troops who were stationed at a Roman town, now Caistor St Edmund, during the Iceni army's uprising in AD61, she said.

The stud is now likely to go on display at the Castle Museum in Norwich.
The stud features a rivet on the back, designed to keep it in place.
It has an outer border around a depiction of Victory, facing right and holding a palm, with two horses.

Ms Cahill Wilson, from the department of archaeology and anthropology at the University of Bristol, said: "It is probably no coincidence that it was found in Walsingham given the role of the Iceni and Boudicca in the uprising in AD61.
"This may in fact have commemorated in some way the suppression of that rebellion."
The stud was declared as treasure by Norfolk coroner Jacqueline Lake.

At the inquest in Norwich, Mrs Lake also declared two gold fragments found at Forncett, near Long Stratton, were treasure.
They could have come from a neck torc or precious bracelet, deliberately broken up and hidden, the inquest heard.
Experts said they dated back to between 50 and 150BC and belonged to someone wealthy from the Iron Age or early Roman periods.
Norwich Castle Museum has expressed an interest in acquiring both of the treasures, the inquest was told.