"A farmer working his land south of Rome dug up hundreds of artifacts from a 2,600-year-old sanctuary, but ran afoul of police when he tried to sell the ancient hoard, officials said Wednesday.
After spotting fragments of pottery in soil dug up by the farmer, authorities searched his home last month and seized more than 500 artifacts, including perfume vials, cups and miniature vases used as votive objects.
The art squad of the Carabinieri paramilitary police said the farmer was placed under investigation for allegedly trafficking in antiquities. Ancient artifacts found in Italy are considered state property, and finds must be reported to authorities.
Archaeologists said they will continue to excavate the sanctuary, which dates back to the 7th-6th century B.C. and is located outside the town of Aprilia, near a small lake some 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Rome.
The find could expand knowledge about the area's history in pre-Roman times, when it was inhabited by Latin-speaking people under the influence of the Etruscan civilization that dominated central Italy, experts said.
The pottery, some of which was imported from Greece, was offered to a deity probably connected to the lake, said Stefano De Caro, director of archaeology at the Italian Culture Ministry." - More, GMA News.TV
Thursday, December 18, 2008
A group of archaeologists has found in the northern Spanish region of Leon a ceramic lamp dating from the beginning of the 1st century that shows a representation of the gynecological exam performed on a sick woman..
Archaeology professor at Madrid's Universidad Complutense Angel Morillo, told Efe that this is a "unique find without parallel in the Roman world."
Morillo on Tuesday night in Leon city will present the results of the investigation that has lasted six years during a conference entitled "From the Legions to the Barbarians: New perspectives on Roman Archaeology."
The find is of an oil lamp, "an exceptional piece that illustrates the presence of doctors in the city," and - specifically - a military hospital, the expert said.
On the lamp's surface "appears a very slender woman, possibly affected by a serious illness, like cancer, and a doctor who is performing a gynecological exam with a vaginal speculum," Morillo said.
Possibly the image is of a specific examination that one of the Roman doctors performed, he said - More: Latin American Herald Tribune
[A knife case binder. Photo: C.S. Fuchs]
ARCHAEOLOGISTS say the history books about Roman legions in Europe will have to be revised following the "sensational" discovery of a battlefield in northern Germany this week.
Arrowheads, axes, catapults, spears, coins and lucky charms of the centurions of Rome
who clashed with the Hun tribesmen in the 3rd century AD have been found in a forest. The clash of arms, say experts, would have resembled those portrayed in the Russell Crowe epic Gladiator.
Six hundred artefacts have been dug up so far in what archaeologists are calling "the find of the century".
The detritus of war lies in a patch of land near Northeim, about 50 kilometres from Hanover. The spear tips and arrowheads have the DNA of their victims on them, centuries after they died in a ferocious battle.
What makes the find unique is that it shows Roman armies in action long after the last clash — the great battle of the Teutoburg Forest in AD9 when Arminius annihilated three of the seven legions of Rome — was thought to have occurred.
"Evidently the Romans and Germans fought a bloody battle in the third century AD," said archaeologist Petra Loenne. "Some 1000 Roman legionnaires may have been involved in the fight."
Intriguingly, the find includes more than 300 iron projectiles that were fired by powerful Roman torsion weapons known as scorpions, which could catapult heavy darts with a high velocity and deadly accuracy.
It had a range of 300 metres and was portrayed in the opening battle scene of Gladiator.
"The bolts were found densely clustered," said archaeologist Henning Hassmann.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Evidence of the pottery workshops emerged in Modena, in central-northern Italy, during construction work to build a residential complex near the ancient walls of the city.
"We found a large ancient Roman dumping filled with pottery scraps. There were vases, bottles, bricks, but most of all, hundreds of oil lamps, each bearing their maker's name," Donato Labate, the archaeologist in charge of the dig, told Discovery News.
Firmalampen, or "factory lamps," were one of the first mass-produced goods in Roman times and they carried brand names clearly stamped on their clay bottoms.
The ancient dumping in Modena contained lamps by the most famous brands of the time: Strobili, Communis, Phoetaspi, Eucarpi and Fortis.
All these manufacturers had their products sold on the markets of three continents. Fortis was the trendiest of all pottery brands and its products were used up to the end of the second century A.D.
The ancient dumping contained other important objects, such as a fine terracotta statuette depicting Hercules as he captures the Erymanthian Boar, and 14 lead bullets which were probably used in the Battle of Mutina in 43 B.C. During that battle, Decimus Brutus, one of Julius Caesar's assassins, defeated the besieging Mark Antony with the help of Octavian, the future Roman Emperor Augustus.Technorati Tags: oil lamps, Roman, Mutina, Marc Antony, Decimus Brutus, Octavian, excavation, archaeology, Hercules, Erymanthian Boar, discovery
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Ehud Netzer, head of Jerusalem's Hebrew University excavation team, which uncovered the site of the king's winter palace in the Judean desert in 2007, said the latest finds show work and funding fit for a king.
"What we found here, spread all around, are architectural fragments that enable us to restore a monument of 25 meters high, 75 feet high, very elegant, which fits Herod's taste and status," he told The Associated Press in an interview at the hillside dig in an Israeli-controlled part of the West Bank, south of Jerusalem.
No human remains or inscriptions have been found to prove conclusively that the tomb was Herod's, but excavation continues.
Herod is known for extensive building throughout the Holy Land.
Netzer said that since finding fragments of one ornately carved sarcophagus in 2007, he and his team have found two more, suggesting the monumental tomb may have been a royal family vault. Netzer described the winter palace, built on a largely man-made hill 2,230 feet high, as a kind of "country club," with a pool, baths, gardens fed by pools and aqueducts and a 650-seat theater. In Herod's private box at the auditorium, diggers discovered delicate frescoes depicting windows opening on to painted landscapes, one of which shows what appears to be a southern Italian farm, said Roi Porat, one of Netzer's assistants on the digs. Just visible in the paintings, dating between 15 and 10 B.C., are a dog, bushes and what looks like a country villa. Site surveyor Rachel Chachy-Laureys said the paintings were executed using techniques unknown in the Holy Land at the time and must have been done by artisans imported from Rome. "There has been no other discovery of this type of painting in the Middle East, as far as we know, until now", she said. After Herod's death in the 1st century B.C., Herodium became a stronghold for Jewish rebels fighting Roman occupation, and the palace site suffered significant battle damage before it was destroyed by Roman soldiers in A.D. 71, a year after they razed the Second Temple in Jerusalem. The insurgents reviled the memory of Herod as a Roman puppet, and Netzer and his team believe that the violence inflicted on the first stone casket they found suggests the rebels knew it held the king's bones. "That sarcophagus was found shattered all over the place. It seems it was taken from its place and was destroyed in a fit of rage," Porat said. "That, among other things, is what tells us it was the sarcophagus of Herod."
Netzer described the winter palace, built on a largely man-made hill 2,230 feet high, as a kind of "country club," with a pool, baths, gardens fed by pools and aqueducts and a 650-seat theater.
In Herod's private box at the auditorium, diggers discovered delicate frescoes depicting windows opening on to painted landscapes, one of which shows what appears to be a southern Italian farm, said Roi Porat, one of Netzer's assistants on the digs. Just visible in the paintings, dating between 15 and 10 B.C., are a dog, bushes and what looks like a country villa.
Site surveyor Rachel Chachy-Laureys said the paintings were executed using techniques unknown in the Holy Land at the time and must have been done by artisans imported from Rome.
"There has been no other discovery of this type of painting in the Middle East, as far as we know, until now", she said. After Herod's death in the 1st century B.C., Herodium became a stronghold for Jewish rebels fighting Roman occupation, and the palace site suffered significant battle damage before it was destroyed by Roman soldiers in A.D. 71, a year after they razed the Second Temple in Jerusalem. The insurgents reviled the memory of Herod as a Roman puppet, and Netzer and his team believe that the violence inflicted on the first stone casket they found suggests the rebels knew it held the king's bones. "That sarcophagus was found shattered all over the place. It seems it was taken from its place and was destroyed in a fit of rage," Porat said. "That, among other things, is what tells us it was the sarcophagus of Herod."
After Herod's death in the 1st century B.C., Herodium became a stronghold for Jewish rebels fighting Roman occupation, and the palace site suffered significant battle damage before it was destroyed by Roman soldiers in A.D. 71, a year after they razed the Second Temple in Jerusalem.
The insurgents reviled the memory of Herod as a Roman puppet, and Netzer and his team believe that the violence inflicted on the first stone casket they found suggests the rebels knew it held the king's bones.
"That sarcophagus was found shattered all over the place. It seems it was taken from its place and was destroyed in a fit of rage," Porat said. "That, among other things, is what tells us it was the sarcophagus of Herod."
Friday, November 21, 2008
The first Roman tombstone found in Scotland for more than 170 years is among the rare artefacts unearthed by treasure hunters this year.
It forms part of Scotland's annual Treasure Trove, items found by archaeologists or enthusiasts which have been handed to the Crown Office.
Other pieces include a 5,000-year-old axe head, a Bronze Age sword and mysterious carved stone balls.
He said: "The most outstanding would have to be the Roman tombstone. The inscription suggests it was someone who had a military career, the equivalent of being in the elite guards."
The red sandstone artefact was for a man called Crescens, a bodyguard for the governor who ran the province of Britain for the Roman Emperor.
It was found by amateur enthusiast Larney Cavanagh at the edge of a field near Inveresk.
The 5,000-year-old farmers axe head was unearthed at Dunragit, Stranraer, but made from stone found in the Lake District.
The Bronze Age sword was found in Lockerbie and the mysterious carved balls were discovered at Pitmilly and Newburgh in Fife.Technorati Tags: grave, tombstone, burial, Roman, Britain, Scotland, ancient, archaeology,
Monday, November 10, 2008
The earring is made of a coiled gold hoop and dates from the Roman period between the first century BC and the fourth century AD. It has a large inlaid pearl in its centre and two identical gold pendants, each of which is adorned with an emerald and pearl.
The rare jewel was uncovered during excavations in the ruins of a building which dates to the Byzantine period that is today located in a Palestinian neighbourhood several hundred metres from Jerusalem’s Old City.
Technorati Tags: earring, jewelry, pearl, emerald, Roman, Byzantine, Jerusalem
Saturday, November 08, 2008
archaeological sites in Italy, including ceramics, figurines and bronze
daggers dating as far back as 2,000 B.C., prosecutors said Thursday.
[Left - Apulian ceramics, similar to this one depicting Perseus battling a sea monster, are among the grave goods seized in a 2001 raid on a Basel art dealer. Photo by Mary Harrsch]
The transfer will require three tractor-trailers and all but end a seven-year legal battle over the antiquities.
were seized in 2001 in storage rooms belonging to two Basel-based art
dealers after a tip-off from Italy, said Markus Melzl, a spokesman for
city prosecutors. The couple have since lost several court battles to
prevent the antiquities from being returned to Italy, Melzl said.
than half the objects were from the eastern Italian region of Apulia,
an area that was heavily influenced by ancient Greek culture, said
Guido Lassau, a Swiss archaeologist who worked on the case.
include richly decorated vases and so-called kraters, large vessels
that were used for mixing wine with water. The objects were stolen from
upper-class tombs dating from the fifth to third centuries B.C.,
according to Lassau.
One item that looks like a ceramic mask
modeled on a woman's face retains the original water-soluble painting
from about 300 B.C.
"They're very well preserved because they
spent the last 2,000 years in a virtual time capsule until they were
plundered by grave robbers," Lassau told The Associated Press. "But the
tragic thing is that a lot of the archaeological information was lost
when they were removed."
Other items belong to the pre-Etruscan
Villanova culture of northern Italy, and some of the bronze figures
appear to have originated on the island of Sardinia.
The oldest are bronze daggers thought to be about 4,000 years old, said Lassau.
Technorati Tags: Apulia, ancient art, vase, red-figure, Greek, Roman, treasure, loot,
Friday, November 07, 2008
(Left) The Turkish minister of culture and tourism, Ertugrul Gunay, examines the excavation work and archaeological finds at the site of the Marmaray project in Yenikapi, Istanbul. Sinan Gul / Anadolu Ajansi
Nautical gear, such as stone anchors with wooden poles and ropes, have been perfectly preserved in the depths of the murky water, while entire merchant vessels from various centuries have been uncovered, some filled with ancient merchandise, such as oil and wine amphorae. Fifteen ships thought to have sunk in a strong storm in 1,000 AD were discovered at the eastern end of the harbour, revealing a high-traffic port that connected the ancient granaries of Alexandria to the vineyards of northern Greece...the geological make-up of the site has allowed objects that would normally disintegrate to be preserved. They include a woman’s shoe with an ancient Greek inscription: “Use it in health, lady, be in beauty and happiness and wear it.”The site also bears relics of continued Byzantine presence after the harbour had been filled in. A Byzantine tannery and charnel house were discovered at the western end of the excavation, as well as human skulls – perhaps those of executed criminals – thrown into a well.
In August, Dr Karamut and his team came across four ancient skeletons buried in graves six metres below sea level. The two adults, aged approximately 35, and two children under two, are thought to have lived during the Neolithic age, around 6,000-6,500 BC. The objects found with them, particularly ceramic pieces, have led Dr Karamut and his colleagues to conclude there was an ancient settlement in Yenikapi whose inhabitants lived on animal grazing and farming. Researchers have also linked the findings to the remains of an ancient settlement in Çatalhöyük, a Neolithic site in southern Anatolia which was excavated in the 1960s. The similarity between the sites suggests that settlers in the Anatolian planes migrated to Istanbul’s shores some 8,000 years ago. - MoreTechnorati Tags: Byzantine, Neolithic, skeleton, ship, artifact, Constantinople, excavation, archaeology, history
Sunday, November 02, 2008
A present-day value is yet to be put on the coins, found buried in two pots and compared by one expert to an early single European currency.
The pots’ combined contents of 5,913 copper-alloy coins from the early fourth century were uncovered over two days in April near Sully, in the Vale of Glamorgan.
Most of the coins were minted in London, Trier and Lyon, but some came from more distant imperial outposts in what is now Croatia and Syria.
National Museum Wales numismatist Edward Besly said the Emperor Diocletian reformed the Roman currency around 295AD, although some of the coins belonged to an earlier denomination.
He said: “They are the same standard, same design.Technorati Tags: gold, coin, Diocletian, Roman, emperor, money, treasure, hoard, Wales, England, Roman Empire,
Saturday, October 18, 2008
A dig has turned up the tomb of a nobleman who led Rome's legions in the second century A.D.
It is not yet clear who was buried in the ancient cemetery, but archaeologists at the still partially excavated site believe at least some of the dead were freed slaves of Greek origin.
Archaeologists restoring the imperial residences on the Palatine Hill, in the heart of ancient Rome, believe they have discovered the underground passageway in which the despotic Emperor Caligula was murdered by his own guards.
[Left: Actor Malcolm McDowell as "Caligula"]
The hill, which his honeycombed with ruins of palaces and villas, has also yielded frescoes and black-and-white mosaics in the first century B.C. home of a patrician, the ministry said in a statement.Technorati Tags: Caligula, assassination, Rome, Roman, Palatine, excavation, archaeology
Frozen in time by the catastrophic eruption that covered Pompeii and nearby towns nearly 2,000 years ago with nine to 20 feet of hot ash and pumice, the desiccated remains were found at the bottom of seven jars.
The find revealed that the last Pompeian garum was made entirely with bogues (known as boops boops), a
Mediterranean fish species that abounded in the area in the summer months of July and early August.
The vessels were unearthed several years ago in the house of Aulus Umbricius Scaurus, Pompeii's most famous garum producer.- More
Thursday, October 02, 2008
UBC archaeologists have dug up a mystery worthy of Indiana Jones, one that includes a tomb, skeletons and burial rites with both Christian and pagan elements.
This summer, Prof. Roger Wilson led excavations at Kaukana, an ancient Roman village located near Punta Secca, a small town in the south-eastern province of Ragusa in Sicily.
Combing through the sand-buried site, the 15-member team made a series of startling discoveries. Central to the mystery was finding a tomb inside a room in a house dating from the sixth century AD.
Wilson explains that tombs during this period are normally found only in cemeteries outside the built-up area of a town, or around the apse of a church. And since the building was substantial with mortared walls and internal plaster, this would have been likely a tomb for the wealthy.
“It’s extremely unusual to find an elite burial set inside a house in the middle of a settlement, even as late as the sixth century,” says Wilson, who heads UBC’s Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies.
Once the cover was lifted off the tomb, one team member spent 10 days sieving the contents with great care. Two skeletons were found. One was of a woman between the ages of 25 and 30, with teeth in excellent condition and no signs of arthritis.
“She was in pretty good nick, so we know this wasn’t a peasant working in the field,” says Wilson.
The other skeleton was a child of indeterminate sex between the ages of five and seven. The position of their bones showed that the woman had been laid to rest first. The tomb was then re-opened to bury the child and the woman’s spinal column was pushed to one side. A hole in the stone slab covering the tomb allowed visitors to pour libations for the dead.
“This shows that the long-established, originally pagan, rite of offering libations to the dead clearly continued into early Byzantine times,” observes Wilson.
Yet, the presence of a Christian cross on a lamp found in the room and on the underside of a grave slab suggests that the deceased were Christian. As well, the skeletons were wrapped in plaster, a practice believed to be Christian for preserving the body for resurrection.
“It is the first plaster burial recorded in Sicily, although the practice is known from Christian communities in North Africa,” says Wilson.
What also intrigued the archaeologists was learning that the tomb was opened one further time, an intrusion that disturbed the bones of the child and caused its skull to be placed upside down. Wilson says he wondered whether it was grave robbers in search of expensive jewelry or other loot.
“But the tomb was tidied up again afterwards.”
Around the tomb was plentiful evidence of periodic feasting in honour of the dead. The archaeologists found cooking pots, glass and several large clay containers (amphorae), of which one is virtually intact. These would have been used to carry oil and wine to the site. The team also found the remains of two hearths where meals had been prepared.
As well, the room was designed with niches along one wall. Wilson says a knife, seafood, and fragments of stemmed goblets and other glass vessels were left on these shelves, “as though placed there after the last party.”
Technorati Tags: Roman, tomb, Sicily, burial, archaeology, libation, pagan, Christian, ritual, plaster burial, amphora
A Roman sculpture of the head of a bearded man, right, and a stone torso, both of which were used to build an ancient harbour wall, have been rediscovered in Greece.
The artefacts, which were found during an underwater survey in Mandraki, Kythnos, come from the period of Roman rule in Greece between 146BC and AD330.The torso of a man in armour, which is about 4ft 5in, and the head had been used as building materials in the wall. The Greek Culture Ministry said that it was not clear whether the body and head came originally from the same statue.- APTechnorati Tags: Roman, artifact, artefact, sculpture, harbor, Greece, archaeology, history, historical, culture, armor, armour
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Excavations are continuing in Enderby (Leicestershire, UK) after the discovery of what is thought to be a small Roman rural cemetery.
The skeletons were found close to the former Fosse Way Roman road.Archaeologists have also found bodies from the Iron Age at the same site, a silver Roman coin as well as items from the medieval period. Technorati Tags: cemetery, grave, skeleton, burial, death, Roman,
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Dr Paul Chapman, a computer scientist at the University of Hull, said that it was aimed at creating a permanent record of the wrecks. "Because of activities like trawling, these archaeological sites get destroyed," he said. "What we have been focusing on with the Venus project is how to generate a permanent database or record of these sites."
Underwater archaeological sites have also been damaged by divers taking souvenirs. "Our job has been to develop a virtual reality diving simulator that allows the user to dive down and experience the site first hand," Chapman added.
One advantage of the simulator is that researchers can add in elements that are no longer there, for example even if the wooden frame of the ship is partially or completely destroyed it can be superimposed on the remains of the cargo that are
"We can also animate the disintegration of the wreck over time," said Chapman.
The cargo in the 3D simulator – for example, double-handled ceramic vases called amphorae in the case of the Roman wreck – is in precisely the same arrangement as in the real wreck. To achieve this level of accuracy the researchers conducted sonar surveys from ships on the surface before adding information from a robotic submarine called the Phantom S2. This provided more detailed sonar data plus images of the wreck itself.The Roman site off Pianosa was first
discovered by sport divers in 1989. In Roman times, the island off the Tuscan coast was home to the nephew of Augustus Caesar who was exiled there to the Villa di Agrippa where
he was later murdered.
The ship itself has rotted away, leaving a mixed cargo of amphorae. The archaeological puzzle is why there are vases that date from several different periods of Roman history. Lying at just 36 metres and in excellent visibility, the wreck provided an ideal initial proving ground for developing the 3D mapping techniques.
Within two to three months [simulator software] will be available for download from the project's website and will run on a standard PC. - Video
Monday, August 25, 2008
Nou, in Dolj country in southern Romania, have come across a Roman fort
that might have been the capital of the province of Dacia Malvensis.
"We've made some important discoveries. We're almost certain that we've
unearthed the capital of Dacia Malvensis, something archaeologists were
searching to find for hundred of years," Mihai Fifor, director of
Oltenia Muzeum, told the local press agency NewsIn.
Dolj country is located in southern Romania and almost two millennia ago it was part of the Roman province of Dacia Malvensis.
Until now, it was believed that the province got its name from its capital
Malva, like Dacia Porolissensis which was named after its capital
Porolissum, but archaeological evidence could not empower the theory.
"We're waiting for a confirmation that it really is Malva. Our experts from
the University of Craiova are currently analyzing an inscription we've
found. It is the first time an inscription bears the name of this Roman
city," said Fifor.
Due to the outbreak of the Marcomanic Wars, when German tribes forced the border of the Roman Empire, Emperor Marcus Aurelius split the Dacian province in three financial districts, Dacia Porolissensis, Dacia Malvensis and Dacia Apulensis and added
another legion to the one already present in Dacia.
Other important findings have been reported near the town of Cioroiu Nou.
Archaeologists have discovered a temple, a necropolis, administrative and military
buildings all suggesting the presence of a Roman fort. Additionally,
statues, coins, weapons and ceramics were discovered. - Daily India
Photo: Clara Molden
The discovery is one of the largest and best-preserved Roman villas yet discovered in the country.
Shaped like a church, the building was discovered on the Isle of Wight, and has been likened to a medieval hall.
remains were discovered at the site of another Roman villa in Brading,
and are believed to have been constructed 150 years before the other
The later Brading villa's remains had disappeared from
sight until 1879 when a couple of local men stumbled across them by
Its ornate decorations are unrivalled in Britain and the
building may have belonged to Allectus, who in AD293 murdered his
predecessor Carausius, a Roman army commander who had proclaimed
himself Emperor of Britain. - Telegraph.co.uk
Fragments of the statue were unearthed at the ancient city of Sagalassos.
So far the statue's head, right arm and lower legs have been discovered, high in the mountains of southern Turkey.
Last year, the team led by Prof Marc Waelkens, from the Catholic
University of Leuven in Belgium, uncovered fragments of a colossal
marble statue of the emperor Hadrian in the rubble.
This month, the researchers found a huge marble head belonging to Faustina the Elder - wife of the emperor Antoninus Pius.
Archaeologists now think the room hosted a gallery of statues
depicting the "Antonine dynasty" - rulers of Spanish origin who
presided over the Roman Empire during the second century AD.
The emperor wore army boots decorated with lion skins
Early on 20 August, a huge pair of marble lower legs, broken just above the knee, turned up in the room's debris.
They also found a 1.5m-long (5ft-long) right arm and hand holding a
globe which was probably once crowned by a gilded bronze "Victory"
But it was the giant marble head which identified this statue
as the young Marcus Aurelius. The colossal head, which is just under 1m
(3ft) in height, is said to bear his characteristic bulging eyes and
Prof Waelkens said the pupils were gazing upwards "as if in
deep contemplation, perfectly fitting to an emperor who was more of a
philosopher than of a soldier".
He added that this was one of the best-known depictions of the Roman ruler.
The emperor wore exquisitely carved army boots decorated with a lion skin, tendrils and Amazon shields.
The torso was probably covered in bronze armour filled inside
with terracotta or wood. When the niche's vault collapsed in the
earthquake, the torso would have exploded. - BBC News
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Archaeologists digging in Turkey have found the colossal marble head of a Roman empress.
It was discovered in a rubble-filled building where parts of a huge statue of the emperor Hadrian were unearthed last year.
The discovery, at the ancient site of Sagalassos, is thought to show Faustina the Elder, wife of Roman emperor Antoninus Pius. Sagalassos was once an important urban centre. It was abandoned after being hit by several strong earthquakes.
A team led by Marc Waelkens, from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, has been excavating the site since 1990.
The head of Faustina was lying face down in rubble that fills
the ruins of a bath house that was partially destroyed by an earthquake
between AD 540 and AD 620. It was unearthed just 6m from the spot where the Hadrian statue was found, but was sitting higher up in the rubble.
At first, exacavators thought they had found a statue belonging
to Hadrian's wife, Vibia Sabina, who was forced into a marriage with
the homosexual emperor at the age of 14.
the usual depictions of Sabina. This was a more mature woman with
fleshy lips and a distinctive hairstyle.
The building in which the statues were found at Sagalassos was
probably a "frigidarium" - a room with a cold pool which Romans could
dip into after a hot bath. It is part of a larger bath complex that is being carefully uncovered by archaeologists.
The fragments were found not on the floor of the frigidarium -
beneath the rubble from the earthquake - but higher up in the debris
pile. This suggests they did not originally stand in this room, but
were hauled there from elsewhere in the bath complex - probably from
the "Kaisersaal", or emperor's room. They speculate that the Kaisersaal once hosted statues of
Hadrian, Faustina the Elder and other members of Rome's so-called
Antonine dynasty - many of whom belonged to a Spanish or southern
French provincial aristocracy. The Hadrian statue was probably brought to the frigidarium
either to remove its gilded armour or to be burned to cement in a
If this is the case I'm so glad the workman were somehow interrupted. I shudder to think of all of the magnificent art that was destroyed just to provide common building material.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
The building of the church on the foundation of the temple testifies to the preservation of the sacred section of the city over time. This new finding demonstrates not only the religious life, culture and society in Roman and Byzantine Zippori, but also that this was a city in which Jews, pagans and later Christians lived together and developed their hometown with various buildings.
The newly discovered temple is located south of the decumanus - colonnaded street - which ran from east to west and was the main thoroughfare in the city during the Roman through Byzantine period. The temple, measuring approximately 24 by 12 meters, was built with a decorated façade facing the street. The temple’s walls were plundered in ancient times and only its foundations remain.
No evidence has been found that reveals the nature of the temple’s rituals, but some coins dating from the time of Antoninus Pius, minted in Diocaesarea (Zippori), depict a temple to the Roman gods Zeus and Tyche. The temple ceased to function at an unknown date, and a large church, the remains of which were uncovered by the Hebrew University excavation team in previous seasons, was built over it in the Byzantine period.
North of the decumanus, opposite the temple, a monumental building was partially excavated this summer. Its role is still unclear, although its nature and size indicate that it was an important building. A courtyard with a well-preserved stone pavement of smooth rectangular slabs executed in high quality was uncovered in the center of the building, upon which were found a pile of collapsed columns and capitals - probably as a result of an earthquake. The decoration on these architectural elements was executed in stucco. Beyond a row of columns, an adjacent aisle and additional rooms were discovered. Two of them were decorated with colorful, geometrical mosaics."
Friday, July 11, 2008
Archaeologists excavating one of the most important Roman sites in Britain have made an "extremely rare" find.
The team digging at part of the Roman fortress in Caerleon near Newport found what they believe is a legionary's ceremonial lance.
Dr Peter Guest said he thought the iron staff, broken into three pieces, was the first of its type found in the UK.
He also believed it was likely to have belonged to a high-ranking commander who was "not to be tampered with".
Dr Guest, of Cardiff University, said: "It's a very unusual find and there's not more than a dozen of them.
"I don't know of any of that type in Britain.
"There are a few at fortresses and forts around the Rhine and Danube, the frontiers of the Roman Empire."
The staff would probably have featured some type of decoration such as plumes, which indicated that the carrier was no ordinary soldier.
He would probably have been on special assignment, perhaps with the legion's commander or other high-ranking member of the Roman government in Britain."
"An ancient Etruscan tomb has resurfaced after centuries underground during the course of building work in the central Italian city of Perugia.
The tomb, which has been preserved in excellent condition, contains
seven funerary urns, the municipal archaeology department said. It is in
the shape of a square and was covered by a sheet of travertine marble,
which had apparently remained untouched since being laid centuries ago.
The tomb is split into two halves by a pillar and there are two benches
running along each side. The funerary urns, which were placed on the
benches, were marked with brightly coloured mythological and religious
motifs. A preliminary study suggests that writing on the side of the
urns probably refers to a family that was called the Aneis. In addition
to the urns, the tomb also housed the remains of a bronze bed and
various pottery shards. The site was discovered during digging work for
a new roundabout in the Strassacapponi neighbourhood on the outskirts of
the Umbrian town."
Monday, July 07, 2008
Five intact tombs dating to the Roman era were unearthed in Krinides on Thursday by Philippi municipal water board workers while digging for expansion of the local water supply and drainage network in downtown Krinides.
According to archaeologist Thanassis Salonikios, a total of five tombs were discovered, all of them intact, as well as several more tombs that had been opened in the past. Most date back to the Roman era, while there are also finds dating to the Byzantine era. Specific dating, however, will be made following lab studies.
Salonikios, who is overseeing the works, said that there were two probable explanations for such a dense concentration of burial monuments in such a small area: the findings are either a family burial place, given that many of the tombs were found at the same depth, or the site was the center of a crowded cemetery.
Crenides, founded in 360 BC by the exiled Athenian politician Callistratus of Aphidnae in the foothills of Mt. Orbelos (Mt. Lekani, today), was a small colony of the island of Thassos.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
"One of Britain's very first shopping centres has been unearthed - a high street that was fashionable 1,800 years ago when togas were still in vogue.
A row of narrow shop buildings uncovered by archaeologists shows that the Romans in Britain had their very own well-heeled fashionistas.
The shop buildings used by the stylish Romans in ancient Britain were uncovered by archaeologists in fields at Monmouthshire, South Wales.
The site, now occupied only by the rural village of Caerwent near Newport, was formerly Venta Silurum - one of 15 major towns in Britain at the time.
Crucially for archaeologist, unlike most of these 15 towns Venta Silurum did not stay important. Instead it declined - and so escaped the demolition, rebuilding and enlargement that have obliterated early remains elsewhere over the centuries.
Archaeologists say the surviving evidence show it was affluent and fashionable in Roman times, with wealthy villas in the suburbs.
A villa with painted walls and mosaic floors among the other finds also points to the town being home to wealthy Romans in the Third Century AD, when Venta Silurum was booming.
Archaeologist Tom Scott described the 44-acre site as 'beautifully preserved'.
Seven trenches were dug at three different locations to uncover more about previously unexcavated parts of the town.
Long thin buildings were also found in several places - believed to be shop buildings on the high street.
Key finds included a penknife hilt of bone depicting two gladiators fighting.
Other artefacts uncovered included coins, glass, ceramics, human and animal bones, lead patches used for repairing, and bits of mosaic.Mr Scott said: 'This type of town was a "civitas capital" - a civilian town and centre of local Roman government..."
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
"Archaeologists from Cardiff University today began excavating part of the remains of the 2,000 year old Roman Fortress in Caerleon, Newport.
Led by Dr Peter Guest, of the School of History and Archaeology, the team of 50 archaeologists from Cardiff and University College London will excavate the remains of a monumental courtyard building in the south-western corner of the fortress.
The building's existence was discovered during geophysical surveys undertaken by staff and students from the University and was investigated during trial excavations in 2007.
This year's excavation will open a large trench over the building, which is believed to be a store-building or warehouse. It is hoped that the excavations will reveal a wealth of new information about the storage facilities, provisioning, and supply of a Legion in Britain."
Monday, June 16, 2008
I wish this article had included a picture. I would like to have compared it to this bronze Etruscan chariot I saw at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to see what changes were made in chariot design over 700 years.
"Archaeologists have dug up the skeletons of 16 horses and a two-wheeled chariot in a grave dating back to the Roman Empire in north-east Greece, the culture ministry announced.
Half of the horses were buried in pairs, whilst two human skeletons were also discovered in a dig near Lithohori, in the Kavala region.
Near to the remains of six of the horses archaeologists found a shield, weapons and various other accessories.
Ten of the horse skeletons were complete and in addition to the horses, diggers found a grave and four tombs covered with a ceramic lid, which contained four bronze coins dating back to the fourth century AD.
The chariot, dating from the first or second century AD, was "undoubtedly designed to be used in war or hunting," the ministry said.
The chariot was decorated with a frieze relief in bronze, depicting three of Hercules' labours - namely the Cerberus dog, the wild boar of Erymanthian, and the Stymphalian birds."
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Judging by the condition of the skeletons, archeologists concluded that the men likely carried loads on their backs at a nearby port during the early years of Imperial Rome, said Gabriella Gatto, a spokeswoman for the archeology office. Many ailments "seem to hark back to work as labourers, in transport and carrying of heavy loads, in an especially humid environment, circumstances that makes one think of the burial of individuals who worked in port areas of the city," the office said in a statement.
Artifacts found in the necropolis were simple ones, including lanterns to guide the dead to their next life, Gatto said. One ceramic-and-glass lantern was decorated with a grape harvest scene.
The dig yielded a glimpse into a working-class community that was "humble and marked by strong ties and solidarity among its members," the statement said.
Monday, June 02, 2008
"Italian archaeologists have discovered a perfectly preserved skeleton of a 1400-year-old Lombard warrior, buried with his horse.
The skeleton, which was found in a park at Testona, near Turin, is of a 25-year-old Lombard who died of a fever. Unusually, his horse was buried alongside him.
"This is a very rare find," said Gabriella Pantò, the archaeologist leading the dig. "We have not seen many precedents in Italy. We have seen horses' heads buried with warriors, but this find shows the area is vitally important," she added.
The Lombards were a nomadic tribe of Germans who settled near the Danube and launched an attack on Italy in the sixth century.
The dig revealed a Lombard camp had settled at Testona, and the skeleton of a dog was also found nearby. The invaders had built an aqueduct and irrigation system and a series of small wooden huts, without any foundations.
The warrior was also buried with a treasure chest being x-rayed by archaeologists. In addition, a small bag held a pair of pincers, a bronze belt buckle and some armour.
He wore a ring on his left index finger and also had both a knife and a "scramasax", a short sword designed for close combat."
Thursday, May 08, 2008
"ARCHAEOLOGISTS were yesterday celebrating the discovery of 27 2,000-year-old tombs in Italy's "Valley of the Dead". The tombs, some dating back to the 7th century BC, were found by chance while builders carried out work. The whole area was sealed off yesterday and put under police guard to prevent anyone from trying to steal artefacts inside the burial chambers..."
"...Archaeologists say there is also a "good chance" that there may well be other tombs waiting to be discovered. The tombs were discovered at Tarquinia, 50 miles north of Rome in an area named a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
Covering more than 400 acres, the area was the burial ground for the Etruscan tribes who predated the Romans. Maria Tecla Castaldi, an archaeologist, said: "This is the most exciting discovery here in decades. There are frescoes of two figures on the walls, but we need to carry out a proper excavation and search."
Friday, May 02, 2008
The remains of around 91 individuals uncovered in 2005 are in part of Wooton Cemetery, which was the burial ground for the fortress at nearby Kingsholm.
The bodies appear to have been thrown in the grave haphazardly during the second half of the 2nd Century.
Oxford Archaeology who analysed the remains say they are the victims of an epidemic, perhaps the Antonine Plague.
This outbreak of smallpox swept across the Roman Empire between AD 165 and 189.
"The skeletons of adult males, females, and children were lying in a very haphazard fashion, their bones completely entangled, reflecting the fact that they had been dumped, unceremoniously in a hurried manner," said Louise Loe, Head of Burial Archaeology.
"When we studied the skeletons we were looking for evidence, such as trauma, that would explain why they had been buried in such a way.
"In fact, very little trauma was found on the skeletons...this led us to conclude that the individuals were the victims of an epidemic that did not discriminate against age or sex," she said.
Such outbreaks of disease killed quickly and tended not to leave marks on bone, she said.
Future DNA tests will be carried out on the skeletons in the hope of confirming the theory.
Also unearthed on the site on London Road were two 1st Century sculptured and inscribed tombstones which helped the team make a direct connection between documentary evidence and the archaeological record of the site.
One tombstone was for a 14-year-old slave, the other for a soldier of the 20th legion, Lucius Octavius Martialis, son of Lucius, of the Pollian voting tribe from Eporedia.
The legion was stationed at Gloucester until the late 1st Century with soldiers from Sporedia, modern Ivrea north of Turin."
Sunday, April 27, 2008
I sure hope this doesn't turn out to be the Egyptian equivalent of "Al Capone's vaults"!
"Archaeologists have revealed plans to uncover the 2000 year-old tomb of ancient Egypt's most famous lovers, Cleopatra and the Roman general Mark Antony later this year.
Zahi Hawass, prominent archaeologist and director of Egypt's superior council for antiquities announced a proposal to test the theory that the couple were buried together.
He discussed the project in Cairo at a media conference about the ancient pharaohs.
Hawass said that the remains of the legendary Egyptian queen and her Roman lover, Mark Antony, were inside a temple called Tabusiris Magna, 30 kilometres from the port city of Alexandria in northern Egypt.
Until recently access to the tomb has been hindered because it is under water, but archaeologists plan to drain the site so they can begin excavation in November.
Among the clues to suggest that the temple may contain Cleopatra's remains is the discovery of numerous coins with the face of the queen.
According to Hawas, Egyptologists have also uncovered a 120-metre-long underground tunnel with many rooms, some of which could contain more details about Cleopatra."
Sunday, April 13, 2008
"The remains of hundreds of victims, believed to have been killed in a plague that swept Italy 1500 years ago, have been found south of Rome.
The bodies of men, women and children were found in Castro dei Volsci, in the region of Lazio, during excavations carried out by Lazio archaeological office.
News of the extraordinary discovery was reported in the magazine, "Archeologia Viva".
The victims are believed to have been victims of the Justinian Plague, a pandemic that killed as many as 100 million people around the world during a 50 year period in the 6th century A.D.
It spread through Europe as far north as Denmark and as far west as Ireland.
The archaeological find is the first evidence of the devastating impact of the plague.
The plague swept across the Mediterranean during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I in the early 540s and according to some historians changed the course of European history because the empire then entered a period of decline."
You can read more about this plague and period of history in "Justinian's Flea" by William Rosen.
"HE was many miles from home - a Roman soldier posted to Manchester, perhaps feeling cold and lonely, longing for loved ones left behind.
He was called Aelius Victor. And now after 2,000 years an altar he built to keep a promise to the goddesses he prayed to has been unearthed in the middle of the city.
The altar - described by experts as being in 'fantastic' condition - was discovered during an archaeological dig at a site on Greater Jackson Street earmarked for development.
Aelius Victor had dedicated it to two minor goddesses.
A Latin inscription on the altar says: "To the mother goddesses Hananeftis and Ollototis, Aelius Victor willingly and deservedly fulfils a vow."
The find marks the first time in nearly 400 years that archaeologists have been able to put a name to a Mancunian Roman solider.
In 1612 another altar was found by the River Medlock, dedicated by Lucius Seniacianius Martius, a centurion - an officer - with the 20th Legion from York.
It is believed that Aelius Victor may have been a centurion commander posted from Germany - where worship of Hananeftis and Ollototis originates."
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
One of the most important archaeological finds for decades has been uncovered during a sewer improvement project in Poulton.
The remains of a Roman roundhouse, thought to date back to the second century, have been discovered on grazing land close to the town.
The find was made by workers from United Utilities who were involved in preliminary excavations at the start of a £10 million sewer improvement scheme for the area.
A team of 10 archaeologists is now working at the football pitch-sized site, painstakingly uncovering and documenting what remains of the Romano-British roundhouse which is around 10m in diameter.
A small amount of black burnished ware pottery, thought to date from around the second century, has been found which has helped the experts to date the roundhouse.
The remains of the house, which would have been a dwelling house, include an outside drainage gulley, holes for the timber support posts which would have been used, some cobbles and a storage pit.
The archaeological team believe they have also discovered signs of a further roundhouse a few metres away, indicating this could have been the site of an early settlement.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
The skeleton of a young woman from a 3rd century A.D. grave in Veria, northern Greece, is seen in this undated handout photo provided by the Greek Culture Ministry on Tuesday, March 11, 2008. Archaeologists believe a large hole on the front of the skull, above the eyes, was caused by _ apparently failed _ brain surgery nearly 1,800 years ago. Although references to such delicate operations abound in ancient writings, discoveries of surgically perforated skulls are uncommon in Greece."Greek archaeologists said Tuesday they have unearthed evidence of what they believe was brain surgery performed nearly 1,800 years ago on a young woman - who died during or shortly after the operation.
Although references to such delicate operations abound in ancient writings, discoveries of surgically perforated skulls are uncommon in Greece.
Site excavator Ioannis Graikos said the woman's skeleton was found during a rescue dig last year in Veria, a town some 75 kilometers (46 miles) west of Thessaloniki.
"We interpret the find as a case of complicated surgery which only a trained and specialized doctor could have attempted," Graikos said.
A bone expert who studied the finds said the skeleton belonged to a woman up to 25 years old who had suffered a severe blow to the crown of her head, Graikos said. The operation was apparently an attempt to save her life.
He said the clearly defined shape of the hole left in the woman's skull was a sign of relatively sophisticated surgery.
"She probably did not survive the operation, as the wound was very large, and there are no signs of healing around the edges," Graikos told The Associated Press.
The discovery in Veria appears to be similar to several others made in other parts of the former Roman Empire, said Simon Mays, an expert on human skeletal remains at English Heritage, a body which advises the British government.
"That kind of operation dates back a long way ... the earliest example dates back about 5,000 years ago in Europe," said Mays, who was not connected to the Greek excavation.
In early examples, cruder holes were made in the skull by slowly scraping the bone away around the edges, but more precise instruments were used in Roman times, he said.
"We know that (brain) surgery was carried out in the Roman empire, and some of the Roman textual sources give quite precise instructions as to how it should be carried out," Mays said.
"This probably fits in with a pattern about what we know (the Romans) could do surgically."
Graikos said the find attested to the social and medical sophistication in Veria, which in the 3rd century A.D. - during the period of Roman rule - was one of Greece's main civic centers, and the capital of a federation of Macedonian cities."
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
The villa, hidden deep in more than a square mile of ancient woodland at Bedford Purlieus, near Peterborough, had gone unnoticed over the centuries.
Experts believe the remains at the site, just off the A47 at Wansford, probably date back to between the second and fourth centuries AD.
Painted plasterwork, pottery, and local limestone joined with mortar have been found."The ground has never been cultivated, so the remains can still be seen as lumps and bumps rather than just outlines," said Ben Robinson, archaeologist for Peterborough City Council.
"The quality and variety of what we've found so far suggests this was part of a wealthy town, combining manufacturing and cultural development - a sort of cross between Cambridge and Stoke-on-Trent."
Monday, March 10, 2008
Over the last nine months, remains — including Roman taverns and 16th-century palace foundations — have turned up at the central Piazza Venezia and near the ancient Forum where works are paving the way for one of the 30 stations of Rome's third subway line.
"The medieval and Renaissance finds that were brought to light in Piazza Venezia are extremely important for their rarity," said archaeologist Mirella Serlorenzi, who is working on the site.
Serlorenzi said that among the most significant discoveries in a ninth-century kitchen were three pots that were used to heat sauce. Only two others had been found previously in Italy.
The copper factory "factory" was used to work on copper alloys, and it consisted of small ovens, traces of which can be seen. Small copper ingots were found and are being analyzed.
Monday, February 18, 2008
"A series of graves found in a gravel quarry at Stanway near Colchester, Essex, have been dated to 40-60 A.D. At least one of the burials, it appears, may have been that of a Druid, according to a report published in British Archaeology.
Within the wooden, chambered burial site, researchers have excavated a wine warmer, cremated human remains, a cloak pinned with brooches, a jet bead, divining rods (for fortune-telling), a series of surgical instruments, a strainer bowl last used to brew Artemisia-containing tea, a board game carefully laid out with pieces in play, as well as other objects.
Archaeologist Mike Pitts said the collection mirrors basic medical tools from other parts of the Roman world.
The board game and its arranged pieces, however, are anything but common. None other like it has ever been found at Roman-era sites in Great Britain.
Surviving metal corners and hinges from the board allowed Pitts to reconstruct it as an 8-inch by 12-inch rectangle. Raised sides suggest dice might have been used. The white and blue glass counters were positioned with care. Some were straight across the sides, another in a diagonal line and one white marker close to the board’s center.
Pitts believes the game may have been another “divination tool,” along with the rods, jet bead and scent bottles also excavated at Stanway.Philip Crummy, director of the Colchester Archaeological Trust, told Discovery News that the person in the burial could very well have been a Druid “given the healing and divination attributes..."
"He is, however, not yet convinced the person was Celtic, since the medical kit was “fairly Romanized” and the individual may have acted “like a Roman surgeon/doctor would have done.”
“Divination was widely practiced in the Roman world too,” he added.
Because of site’s age and location, Pitts is more inclined to believe the person was indeed a Celtic Druid and could have been closely related to Cunobelin, a chief or king of the Catuvellauni tribe."
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
The finds only came to light after he met keen local archaeologist, Di Ablewhite.
Mrs Ablewhite, of Long Bennington, said: "Mr Baggaley farmed the Staunton estate for 40 years and while ploughing he would stop when he found something interesting and he would dig it up.
"He found a lot of pieces of Roman pottery and kept it all in his barn. Only after talking to myself did he try and find out more.
"The finds cover most of the Roman era from the first century to the fourth."
The field where the artefacts were found was given ancient monument status this month, giving Mrs Ablewhite of Farndon Archaeological Research Institute (FARI) more time to investigate the site.
Initial geophysical surveys have indicated the presence of structures beneath the ground.
Mrs Ablewhite said: "We should be able to do a survey to see if there are any buildings there. We will start this summer."
Friday, February 01, 2008
The defendants were caught by Operation Ghelas, which has dismantled a major Italian antiquities smuggling operation across Western Europe. Carried out by the Italian Cultural Patrimony Protection (TPC) squad, the operation concluded last summer with an unprecedented 85 indictments and 52 arrests. Fifteen tomb raiders have already pleaded guilty to various charges.
More than 2,000 antiquities were recovered, such as amphorae, statues, and coins from major archaeological sites in Sicily."
I wonder what sentence those pleading guilty received? I wonder what percentage of antiquities the tomb raiders handled were actually recovered?
Monday, January 21, 2008
The terracotta head found during the excavation at Kodumanal
For some years now, Suresh has been leading small groups that have followed the Roman Trail in South India on tours organised by INTACH-Tamil Nadu. In his latest book, he spells out that trail in a little more detail, even if his focus is on Arikamedu. The trail stretches from ancient Musiris (generally considered to be Kodunganallur, north of Cochin, but that, Suresh emphasises, is just speculation; “those who claim to go to Musiris, actually go in search of Musiris!”, he feels) to Mylapore.
From Musiris the trail goes to Iyyal on the Trichur-Guruvayur Road where hoards of Roman coins were found in two caves, now called the St. Thomas Caves. Next comes the village of Vellalur, 15 km from Coimbatore, and Perur on the outskirts of the city. Roman coins and pottery have been found in both places and gold Roman jewellery - now in the Madras Museum – in the former. It’s then on to Kodumanal on the north bank of the Noyyal, a tributary of the Kaveri. An iron-processing industry and the manufacture of beads from semi-precious stones were major production activities here in Roman times, the iron ore coming from nearby Chenniamalai and the stones from several neighbouring villages. Excavations at Kodumanal have revealed iron swords and arrowheads, a terracotta head (my picture today), pottery, and Roman coins and gold and silver ornamentation...
Sunday, January 13, 2008
The Archaeological Survey of India has decided to excavate the site-dating to 200 BC- 200 AD -from April. If a stupa is unearthed as hoped by the ASI, this will be the first Buddhist site in Telangana, firmly establishing the belief among historians that this region too was part of the Satavahana empire that extended into present Maharashtra and that Kondapur, indeed, was a city that had a direct connection with Paithan...
Historians led by D. Jithendra Das, superintending archaeologist, ASI, Hyderabad Circle, who inspected the mound recently, found it to be “extremely fruitful” with its upper strata already yielding several antiquities without digging.
Nearly 2,000 coins and many coin-moulds, ornaments made of gold and semi-precious stones, beads and terracotta figurines have been recovered from the surface area itself.
A valuable find was a gold coin of the Roman king Augustus."
Thursday, January 03, 2008
It had not been confirmed whether the site was, in fact, a Roman marching camp, which had previously only been suggested by aerial photographs.
Scottish Water's stakeholder manager for the Glencorse Water Treatment Works Project Kenny Naylor said: "We carry out a detailed site investigation on all sites as a matter of course, and found a change in the soil when we were digging the ground.
"We quickly contacted the regional archaeologist who was able to confirm the existence of a Roman marching camp on the site."
It is believed the site, which is part of a network of other bases, watchtowers and camps across lowland Scotland, was situated to guard a gap in the Pentland Hills to the northwest of Flotterstone and the line of an east-west Roman road which skirted the foothills of the Pentlands.