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Roman Britain: New Findings & Discoveries.
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 16-10-2012 23:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Roman gold coin hoard found in St Albans is 'nationally significant'
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-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.
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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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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 18-11-2012 20:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 08-12-2012 22:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bit of a mystery.

Quote:
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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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 21-12-2012 01:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Northamptonshire Roman town site looters condemned
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-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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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 21-12-2012 01:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
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.
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 06-01-2013 12:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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Zilch5Offline
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PostPosted: 24-01-2013 23:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
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/international_story.php?id=49372

Oh wow - their backsides must have been a lot tougher than ours! Shocked
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MythopoeikaOffline
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PostPosted: 25-01-2013 19:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

People in many parts of rural Africa use small pebbles, if they can't find any suitable leaves.
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PostPosted: 27-01-2013 00:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mythopoeika wrote:
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...
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Anome_Offline
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PostPosted: 27-01-2013 06:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just make sure you keep the two rocks separate.
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Zilch5Offline
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PostPosted: 28-01-2013 00:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

rynner2 wrote:
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.
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PostPosted: 10-02-2013 04:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote]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.
Quote:


http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/rare_roman_coin_found_in_acle_only_the_second_of_its_kind_1_1874743
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 18-02-2013 10:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

'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/gardeningequipment/9872633/Flower-pot-Roman-coffin-sold-for-40000.html
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 21-02-2013 23:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Remains of two Roman roads found in Chester
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-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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PostPosted: 09-04-2013 21:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

'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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