In the depths of a Cumbrian wood, intrepid archaeologists have been abseiling down the wall of a Roman quarry to document eroding inscriptions left by 3rd-century soldiers tasked with harvesting the sandstone to help repair Hadrian’s Wall.
Written Rock of Gelt
Rare examples of graffiti, made by the Roman army while they were repairing and rebuilding Hadrian’s Wall, have been recorded in a Cumbrian quarry associated with the monument’s construction. Dating to the early 3rd century AD, these inscriptions have survived for more than 1,800 years, but gradual erosion of the soft sandstone into which they were cut has put them under threat. In an effort to save the graffiti before they are lost, they are being documented by Newcastle University archaeologists in a project funded by Historic England.
Our cover story takes us to the longest archaeological ‘site’ in Britain: the banks of the River Thames. For ten years, Thames Discovery Programme members have been braving all weathers to record the refuse of centuries of Londoners and newly exposed archaeological features before they are swept away by the tidal river’s ebb and flow. […]