Page 5 of 5

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 6:34 pm
by Primus Aurelius Timavus
3000 Year old skeleton found in Rome

From before the founding ... index.html

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:06 am
by Anonymous
"Newly found mosaic is optical illusion". It was used in the Bacchinalian Mysteries, apparently. No picture though! ... 30,00.html

Ancient Port in India found

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:09 pm
by Cleopatra Aelia
Salvete Amici,

I stumbled across the following news at another forum and want to share it with you:

Search for India's ancient city
Archaeologists working on India's south-west coast believe they may have solved the mystery of the location of a major port which was key to trade between India and the Roman Empire - Muziris, in the modern-day state of Kerala.

Roman treasure discovered on farm in Wales

PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 1:36 pm
by Cleopatra Aelia
And here's another interesting link I got from the other forum:

Roman treasure discovered on farm
Farm contractors have unearthed 2,000 Roman coins beneath a field at a farm near Carmarthen.
The coins, which date from late Roman times, have been categorised as "treasure"...

Roma Sotterranea

PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 8:45 pm
by Cleopatra Aelia
I just purchased the latest German edition of National Geographic which features an interesting article about the "underground" of Rome. Here's the link to the English magazine: ... index.html

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 1:40 pm
by Primus Aurelius Timavus
1,600-year-old Roman coffin unearthed in London
POSTED: 8:16 p.m. EST, November 30, 2006

LONDON, England (AP) -- Archaeologists discovered a rare Roman sarcophagus containing a headless skeleton at the site of London's historic St. Martin-in-the-Fields church, authorities said Friday.

The limestone coffin dates to about A.D. 410 and was 10 feet below the grounds of St. Martin-in-the-Fields near Central London's busy Trafalgar Square, outside the boundaries researchers had established for London's Roman city walls.

"The find has opened up an exciting new area of Roman London for study," said Taryn Nixon, director of the Museum of London Archaeology Service. "This gives us an extraordinary glimpse of parts of London we haven't seen before, particularly Roman London and Saxon London."

Excavators and archaeological teams discovered 24 medieval burial sites in the area above and around the Roman sarcophagus during work on the church grounds this summer. The discovery lies in view of the National Gallery art museum, Nelson's Column and the square, which is often congested with tourists.

The sarcophagus was made from a single piece of limestone from Oxfordshire or Northamptonshire, about 60 miles northwest of London, researchers said. The skeleton, headless and missing fingers, is a 5-foot-6-inch man who died in his 40s. Researchers speculated Victorian workmen building a sewer stumbled upon the sarcophagus and took the skull.

The site is about a mile west of the boundary of Roman London established by researchers, said Roman history expert Hedley Swain.

Archaeologists made two similar finds in London during the 1970s and once at Westminster Abbey during the 19th century.

It was unclear if the burial was Christian or held by pagans, who populated the area, Swain said.

A $71 million renovation and expansion project on the church began in January, and an entrance into a foyer and shop is planned for above the burial site, said architect Tim Lynch.

Other finds include a Roman tile kiln, Anglo-Saxon jewelry, false teeth, a copper bowl and a green-blue glass cup.

"I'm amazingly thrilled by the finds we have made and excruciatingly nervous we will find something so significant we will have to stop the (renovation) work altogether," said Rev. Nick Holtam, the vicar of St. Martin-in-the-Fields.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 1:41 pm
by Primus Aurelius Timavus
Ancient astronomical device thrills scholars
POSTED: 8:40 p.m. EST, November 30, 2006

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- An ancient astronomical calculator made at the end of the 2nd century BC was amazingly accurate and more complex than any instrument for the next 1,000 years, scientists said on Wednesday.

The Antikythera Mechanism is the earliest known device to contain an intricate set of gear wheels. It was retrieved from a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera in 1901 but until now what it was used for has been a mystery.

Although the remains are fragmented in 82 brass pieces, scientists from Britain, Greece and the United States have reconstructed a model of it using high-resolution X-ray tomography.

They believe their findings could force a rethink of the technological potential of the ancient Greeks.

"It could be described as the first known calculator," said Professor Mike Edmunds, a professor of astrophysics at Cardiff University in Wales.

"Our recent work has applied very modern techniques that we believe have now revealed what its actual functions were."

The calculator could add, multiply, divide and subtract. It was also able to align the number of lunar months with years and display where the sun and the moon were in the zodiac.

Edmunds and his colleagues discovered it had a dial that predicted when there was likely to be a lunar or solar eclipse. It also took into account the elliptical orbit of the moon.

"The actual astronomy is perfect for the period," Edmunds told Reuters.

"What is extraordinary about the thing is that they were able to make such a sophisticated technological device and to be able to put that into metal," he added.

The model of the calculator shows 37 gear wheels housed in a wooden case with inscriptions on the cover that related to the planetary movements.

Francois Charette, of the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, said the findings, reported in the journal Nature, provide a wealth of data for future research.

"Newly deciphered inscriptions that relate to the planetary movements make it plausible that the mechanism originally also had gearings to predict the motion of the planets," he said in a commentary.

Edmunds described the instrument as unique, saying there is nothing like it in the history of astronomy. Similar complicated mechanisms were not seen until the appearance of medieval cathedral clocks much later.

"What was not quite so apparent before was quite how beautifully designed this was," he said. "That beauty of design in this mechanical thing forces you to say 'Well gosh, if they can do that what else could they do?'

Ancient Roman road found in Netherlands

PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 7:08 am
by Publius Nonius Severus
Salve Omnes!

Please find below a link to an AP news story on the discovery of another section of the "Limes" road in the Netherlands.

I have yet to visit any archaeological sites outside the eternal city herself yet so I am always fascinated when new sites are discovered (even if by accident when trying to build a railroad!)

Ancient Roman road found in Netherlands

Text of the article is below:

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) - Archaeologists in the Netherlands have uncovered what they believe is part of the military road Roman soldiers patrolled nearly 2,000 years ago while guarding against hostile Germanic tribes at the Roman Empire's northern boundary.

Known in Latin as the "limes," the road was in use from roughly A.D. 50 to A.D. 350, before it fell into disrepair and eventually disappeared underground, said archaeologist Wilfried Hessing, who is leading the excavations in Houten, about 30 miles southeast of Amsterdam.

The stretch of road discovered in Houten is believed to have connected two forts — Traiectum, which gives its name to the modern city of Utrecht, and Fectio, modern Vechten. Wooden poles were discovered at the site that were used to protect the roadsides from erosion, and experts hoped to use tree-ring counting techniques to determine the exact date they were cut, Hessing said.

"It was used for trade, but it was first and foremost part of a military strategy to guard the border," he said. With a road "you can respond more quickly, so you need fewer troops, just like today."

The road was discovered by the Dutch train company Prorail during preparations to add extra rail lines in the area. Hessing and Prorail will complete excavations of a short stretch in the coming weeks, then carry out exploratory digs to determine the road's route farther to the east, the city of Houton said in a statement.

"It's in very good condition," said city spokeswoman Marloes van Kessel.

Excavations of other parts of the limes are also being conducted in other European countries, and the
United Nations is considering declaring it a world heritage site.

Hessing said the road was built of a sloping mound of sand and clay, interspersed with layers of gravel and smashed seashells, which would have stood about a yard above nearby fields. The top layer of hard-packed gravel is unusually well-preserved at the site.

Pottery shards were used as filler material and will help experts in dating the road, Hessing said. The road was also flanked by drainage channels, and the wooden poles were used to shore up the foundation.

Hessing said examinations of a cross-section of the road indicated it had been repaired several times. "It will be interesting to see if we can tell whether those repairs correspond with known military campaigns or were just part of standard maintenance," he said.

Romans first entered this part of the Netherlands under Julius Caesar in the year 53 B.C.

According to the Roman historian Tacitus, an uprising began in A.D. 69 when a local Germanic tribe captured two coastal forts. Roman soldiers may have retreated eastward along the road to more heavily protected forts in present-day Germany.

A year later, after first losing a battle on a flooded, marshy field near Nijmegen, the Romans pacified the Batavians, the tribe that was the main instigator of the rebellion.

Although the limes' course is known from medieval copies of ancient maps, only several segments have been found intact in the Netherlands. Archaeologists previously had been unable to determine the exact location of the limes along the Kromme, or "Crooked" Rhine, south of Utrecht because the river had changed course over time.

The find is the latest of several near Utrecht. In 2002, archaeologists found the remains of a watchtower on the Rhine where detachments of three or four Roman soldiers would have served as lookouts. Near the tower, they found bones and other remains of food the soldiers ate, as well as a spear point, coin, ax, sickle and an ancient pen.

In 2003, they uncovered a 25-yard-long barge, complete with covered living quarters and a decorated chest with lock and key. Archaeologists believe it may have been used by a paymaster to sail upriver carrying supplies to military camps and bases.

Among the items found with the barge were a knife, saw, wooden shovel, shears, copper pot, clay cups and pots, paddle with traces of blue paint, iron crowbar, leather shoe soles with studded bottoms for extra strength, and a piece of wood with Roman numbers on it.

Low-Country Roads

PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 8:50 am
by Aldus Marius
Salve, mi Severe!

...Now that's just cool. My Legion, the VI Victrix, was called up from Hispania Tarragonensis in AD 69 to help deal with that selfsame Batavian revolt. (Tacitus writes about it in his Historiae.) Stationed at Novaesium (Neuss), Germania Inferior, they remained in the area for a little over 50 years before being transferred to Britannia Province.

I wish the article had been accompanied by a map. The Sixth probably walked that road. They may well have done some of the maintenance-work on it. Not a bad place to drop a pinch of incense to their numen legionis, I'm thinkin'...

Gratias ago for sharing this!

In fide,

Ancient civilizations popular again for study/enternainment

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:32 pm
by Publius Nonius Severus
Salvete Omnes!

Interesting article on the resurgence of ancient civs in popular culture:

Ancient civilizations popular again for study and entertainment By Jacob Stockinger, The Capital Times (Madison, WI USA)

PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 4:10 pm
by Primus Aurelius Timavus
Looks like Roman realism strikes again. A coin of Mark Antony depicts Cleopatra as no raging beauty. Judge for yourself at ... index.html

PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:18 pm
by Publius Nonius Severus
Primus Aurelius Tergestus wrote:Looks like Roman realism strikes again. A coin of Mark Antony depicts Cleopatra as no raging beauty. Judge for yourself at ... index.html

This has been generating a lot of discussion. Despite the considerations that a 2000+ year old coin only showing a profile view of someone is hardly an accurate means of judging beauty is concerned...qualifying something or someone as beautiful is a very subjective thing. There is also more to attraction than just beauty...power, seduction, wealth.

Plus...I'm quite fond of my hooked roman nose, and I'm sure the Romans were too!

Scepter of Maxentius?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:45 pm
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
Salvete sodales.

I don't believe anyone has posted on this bit of news. This is an article on the discovery of what is believed to be the scepter of Constantine's rival, the Emperor Maxentius.



Maxentius' sceptre on exhibit

The only Roman emperor's sceptre to have been found has gone on public display in Rome for the first time.

The sceptre, which is topped by a blue orb that represents the earth, was discovered at the end of last year and is believed to have been held by Emperor Maxentius, who ruled for six years until 312AD.

Maxentius, who was known for his vices and his incapacity, drowned in the Tiber while fighting forces loyal to his brother-in-law, Constantine, at the battle of the Milvian bridge. Archaeologists believe that Maxentius' supporters hid the sceptre during or after the battle to prevent it from falling into enemy hands.

It was found at the base of the Palatine hill, carefully wrapped in silk and linen and then placed in a wooden box. Alongside it were other boxes holding two other imperial battle standards and ceremonial lance heads. The depth of the burial allowed archaeologists to date the find to Maxentius' rule.

Sceptres, often two to three foot ivory rods topped with a globe or an eagle, were introduced by Augustus as a symbol of Rome's power. They would be carried by emperors while riding in chariots to celebrate military victories.

While emperors were often pictured on coins and in paintings holding a sceptre, no example of the real thing had been found up until last year. "We have never seen them for real before, there have been no similar findings," said Angelo Bottini, the head of Rome's archaeology department.

Clementina Panella, the archaeologist at Rome's La Sapienza University who made the find said that the grip of the sceptre was made of Orichalcum, a legendary gold-coloured brass alloy which parts of the sunken city of Atlantis were said to be forged from.

"These artifacts clearly belonged to Maxentius, the sceptre is very elaborate," she said.

Darius Arya, a professor at the American Institute for Roman Culture, said it was an "amazing" find. "You don't find that kind of wealth in Rome, you find fragments and pieces, but not in such good condition." The sceptre is now on display at the National Museum of Rome.

The Palatine Hill has yielded several important discoveries in the last few months, and is the focus of a major reconstruction plan.

The Italian government has stepped up attempts to preserve its cultural heritage, and has earmarked €20 million to save the hill from crumbling. More money will be raised in a telethon on Italian television.

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 12:26 am
by Tiberius Dionysius Draco
Salvete omnes,

An interesting article I came across the other day. I thought it might be of particular interest to Cleopatra. Though I doubt it contains a lot of new information for her, I learned things I never knew about the gladiators before.

Gladiators' graveyard discovered

Scientists believe they have for the first time identified an ancient graveyard for gladiators.

Analysis of their bones and injuries has given new insight into how they lived, fought and died.

The remains were found at Ephesus in Turkey, a major city of the Roman world, BBC Timewatch reports.

Gladiators were the sporting heroes of the ancient world. Archaeological records show them celebrated in everything from mosaics to graffiti.

Motifs of gladiators are found on nearly a third of all oil lamps from Roman archaeological digs throughout the Empire.

But how much did they risk every time they stepped into the arena? Did they have much chance of getting out alive?

The discovery of what is claimed to be the first scientifically authenticated gladiator graveyard has given researchers the opportunity to find out.

Read the rest of the article here.

Valete bene,

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 12:25 pm
by Cleopatra Aelia
Thanks for posting that. Actually that is not new news ;-) It refers to a BBC program shown already two years ago also in Germany and at the amphitheater conference in Chester Dr. Fabian Kanz was presenting the results of the excavation focusing on the bones of the gladiators of that graveyard. I opened a thread in the Ludi Societatis section on the Ephesian gladiator cemetery ... 1fc3adabed

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:48 am
by Tiberius Dionysius Draco
Salvete omnes,

I've got another "How did they build the Pyramids" article for you all. Perhaps I should round up some of the most prominent theories and update my essay on the 7 World Wonders. Should be an interesting read.

This particular theory states that the Pyramids may have been built from the inside out with the use of internal ramps.

Read the article: here

Valete bene,

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:04 pm
by Tiberius Dionysius Draco
Salvete omnes,

Time for some archeological news. Enjoy!

Diggers begin Herculaneum task of finding masterpieceslost to volcano.

Archaeologists have resumed their search for a library of Greek and Latin masterpieces that is thought to lie under volcanic rock at the ancient Roman site of Herculaneum.

The scrolls, which have been called the holy grail of classical literature, are thought to have been lost when Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD79, burying the wealthy Roman city of Herculaneum and neighbouring Pompeii.

Previous digs have unearthed classical works at a building now known as the Villa of the Papyri, thought to have belonged to Julius Caesar’s father-in-law, Lucius Calpurnius Piso, who was known to be a lover of poetry.

The villa was found by chance in the 18th century by engineers digging a well shaft. Tunnels bored into the rock brought to light stunning ancient sculptures — now in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples — and 1,800 carbonised papyrus scrolls. The writings were mainly works by the Epicurean Greek philosopher Philodemus, who was part of Piso’s entourage.

To read the article in it's entirety: click here.


Ancient Roman graveyard found in suburban Copenhagen

Archaeologists have discovered a Roman cemetery from about 300 A.D. in suburban Copenhagen with about 30 graves, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

"It is something special and rare in Denmark to have so many (ancient Roman) graves in one place," archaeologist Rune Iversen was quoted as saying by the Roskilde Dagblad newspaper.

The graveyard's exact location in Ishoej, southwest of downtown Copenhagen, was being kept secret until the archaeologists from the nearby Kroppedal Museum have completed their work, the newspaper wrote. No one at the museum could be immediately be reached for comment.

Archaeologists found necklaces and other personal belongings, as well as ceramics for containing food.

"It shows that we're dealing with the wealthy segment of that population," Iversen was quoted as saying. The objects were buried with the deceased "to show that one could afford it, show one's social status."

Read the original article: here


Unearthing Rome's king

Italian archeologists have uncovered the ruins of a 2,700 year old sanctuary which they say provides the first physical evidence of Rome at the time of Numa Pompilius, Rome’s legendary second king, in the 8th century BC.

Numa Pompilius, a member of the Sabine tribe, was elected at the age of forty to succeed Romulus, the founder of Rome. He reigned from 715-673 BC, and is said by Plutarch to have been a reluctant monarch who ushered in a 40-year period of peace and stability. He was celebrated for his wisdom, personal austerity and piety.

Clementina Panella, the archeologist from Rome’s Sapienza University who is leading the dig, said Numa Pompilius was also known to have established religious practices and observance in the emergent city state, instituting the office of priest or pontifex and founding the cult of the Vestal Virgins. She said the temple or sanctuary her team had uncovered lay between the Palatine and Velian hills, close to the Colosseum, the Arch of Titus and Via Sacra, and had probably been dedicated to the Goddess of Fortune.

The dig began a year ago, with the help of 130 students and volunteers. The wall of the temple was found seven metres below the surface, together with a street and pavement and two wells, one round and one rectangular. Both wells were “full of thousands of votive offerings and cult objects”, including the bones of birds and animals and ceramic bowls and cups.

Dr Panella said there was no doubt that the objects dated from the period of Numa Pompilius. However there were no statues or figures because Numa forbade images of the gods in his temples, arguing that it was “impious to represent things Divine by what is perishable”.

Numa Pompilius is also credited with dividing Rome into administrative districts, and according to Plutarch organised the city’s first occupational guilds, “forming companies of musicians, goldsmiths, carpenters, dyers, shoemakers, skinners, braziers, and potters”.

To read the entire article (which I strongly suggest): click here.



PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:32 am
by Tiberius Dionysius Draco
Salvete omnes,

(ANSAmed) - Roman history fans may get a chance to admire the marble of Trajan's Column in its original colour version, the city's archaeology department said today. The department is in talks with electricity company Acea and researchers from Rome university to create a beam of light that will shine up the column and superimpose colours that originally enlivened the battle scenes carved on the monument but that are now lost.

Most scholars agree that Roman statues and triumphal arches that survive today in white marble were once highly coloured (like the frescoes decorating the walls of Roman houses), but that the pigment has worn off over the centuries. The illumination of the column, which celebrates the Emperor Trajan's successful military campaigns, would be a way of restoring the colours in a non-intrusive and reversible way, the archaeological department said. It added that the plan is to beam the light up the column for a few minutes every hour, but only at weekends. "Nothing acts like light to deepen our understanding, activating our emotional brain," said Maurizio Anastasi, head of the archaeology department's technical office.

The illumination of Trajan's Column is planned for 2009 as part of a larger project to light up the entire Roman Forum. By illuminating sections of the sprawling ruins, visitors will be able to get a better idea of what was built when, the department said. (ANSAmed).


Re: *Newsflash*

PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 1:11 am
by Primus Aurelius Timavus
I ran into the following web page which is a collection of *Newsflash* stories: