Roman

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Bullets, ballistas, and Burnswark

A Roman assault on a hillfort in Scotland The ancient author Josephus once observed of the Roman military that ‘their training manoeuvres are battles without bloodshed, and their battles manoeuvres with bloodshed’. The difficulty in distinguishing between these states is well illustrated by the residue from a Roman artillery barrage at Burnswark. Were they aiming […]

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Earliest written reference to London found

The earliest-known written reference to London was revealed today (1 June) by MOLA archaeologists, as part of Britain’s largest, earliest, and most significant group of Roman waxed writing tablets. The reference forms part of an address – Londinio Mogontio, ‘To Mogontius [a Celtic personal name], in London’, and appears on a writing tablet dating from c.AD […]

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The fragrant dead: How to treat your dead, the Roman way

Within Roman society, highly aromatic resins were important in ritual activity, and sometimes even applied directly to the body at death. But did this sacred rite ever reach the remote province of Britannia? Bradford University’s Rhea Brettell and Carl Heron launched a project to discover more. To the Romans, frankincense, myrrh, and other fragrant resins […]

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PRESS RELEASE: Ian Haynes and Tony Wilmott win Current Archaeology’s prestigious Research Project of the Year award for 2015, for their work at Maryport

Top honours for  Research Project of the Year  at the prestigious Current Archaeology Awards went to Professor Ian Haynes and Tony Wilmott, Newcastle University. They were recognised for their work at Maryport, a  research project initiated and funded by the Senhouse Museum Trust, where ongoing excavations at the 2nd century Roman fort have revealed the […]

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Rome’s Margaret Thatcher

In the late 20th century, a British prime minister looked at her country, saw that it was in decline and set out to reverse that decline; her name was Margaret Thatcher. In the mid-fourth century a Roman emperor looked at the Roman Empire and saw that it was in decline and set out to reverse […]

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Cambridge’s Roman development

The rolling green farmland northwest of Cambridge was once crowded with bustling  Roman settlements and industry, recent excavations suggest. Cambridge Archaeological Unit has investigated 14ha outside the city, revealing Roman activity spanning four centuries, as well as archaeological features stretching back to the Middle Bronze Age (c.1500 BC). Zig-zag ditches thought to represent practice trenches […]

The bustum, with seeds marked with white squares. Photo: Colchester Archaeological Trust

Roman Colchester: burning insights

Following the discovery of unusual ringfenced burials from Roman Colchester, further evidence of Camulodunum‘s diverse funerary practices comes with the discovery of a rare bustum or pyre burial, found during a Colchester Archaeological Trust excavation on the site of the city’s Roman garrison. Closer examination of the cremation yielded something more elusive still: traces of […]

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