Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Another Roman mosaic uncovered at St. Albans

This Is Hertfordshire: News and Features: Watford: "An archaeologist has unearthed a colourful 3rd Century mosaic in Verulamium Park, St Albans, during building works on the ancient hypocaust and mosaic site. Probably not seen for nearly 2,000 years, the mosaic is made up of red or brown tessera in a grid of grey Purbeck marble. "

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Infant interment in Roman villa foundation thought to be part of ritual

Herts24: "ARCHAEOLOGISTS working on the site of a Roman villa just outside Wheathampstead are puzzled by the discovery of the skeleton of a baby.

For they believe that the child, which died either shortly before or after birth, may have been buried in the foundations of the villa as part of a ritual ceremony.

Field archaeologist Simon West said: 'We are not sure why this type of practice was carried out but it could be to, in some way, bring luck to the house.'"

Ancient Rome's fish pens confirm sea-level fears

"Coastal fish pens built by the Romans have unexpectedly provided the most accurate record so far of changes in sea level over the past 2000 years. It appears that nearly all the rise in sea level since Roman times has happened in the past 100 years, and is most likely the result of human activity.

The Romans dug these fish pens into bedrock, and the water line in these well-preserved structures shows that the sea level along the Italian coast 2000 years ago was 1.35 metres below today's levels. "They were used for only a very short time, so they make rather nice markers," says Kurt Lambeck of the Australian National University in Canberra.

He then analysed how land elevations changed along the Italian coast due to both plate tectonics and the after-effects of the last ice age. In a paper to appear in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, he concludes that geological processes affecting land levels over the past two millennia accounted for 1.22 metres of the change, which means that the global sea level rose by 13 centimetres.

That is only about 100 years' worth of rise at the present rate of around 1 to 2 millimetres per year, implying that nearly all of it has occurred since 1900."

Friday, August 13, 2004

Mystery of Iron Age woman with rings on her toes

Mystery of Iron Age woman with rings on her toes - The Herald: "SHE would have been a highly-skilled artisan who was buried 1500 years ago, her body covered with ornate jewellery and emblems of her high status.
Yet, with her rings still adorning her toes, she was laid to rest in one of the most unusual burial sites known to archaeologists: beneath the floor of a busy Iron Age workshop.
The discovery, at Mine Howe in Orkney, is extremely rare for an Iron Age site in Scotland and has baffled the team carrying out the dig."

Tours of Hadrian's Villa Now Available

IOL: World: "Hadrian's Villa, the largest and among the most sumptuous of the villas built by Roman emperors, is open for floodlit evening tours.

Visitors to the villa, which is situated near Tivoli, about 25km east of Rome, will be given guided tours of the site by an archaeologist."

Byzantine Shipwreck Found on "Circe's Sandbanks"

Agenzia Giornalistica Italia - News In English: "The wreck of a Byzantine ship whose period is datable between the third and the fourth century after Christ, was found on the seabed of Ragusa by Carabinieri underwater squads of Messina. The ship is a few metres under the water on 'Circe's sandbanks', in front of Marina di Marza's coast, near Ispica."