Ancient History News Roundup: Feb 7 – 13

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Lots happening this week, especially in England…let’s do the run-thru!

Nighthawking at Hadrian’s Wall (link to article)

Not a phrase I was familiar with before reading this article, but apparently there is evidence of nighthawking (illegal digging…presumably at night) in the centre region of Hadrian’s wall. This is understandably upsetting, especially the National Trust (who owns the land) and the good folks at Vindolanda, not too far away. Metal detecting by ambitious amateur archaeologists does no good for the historical community, that’s for sure. Hope this doesn’t persist.

Roman Cemetery found in Ipplepen (link to article)

The crews from the University of Exeter have been working at a roadside Roman cemetery, where they’ve recovered fifteen skeletons. This seems to be the biggest cemetery of its kind in Devon, which is pretty awesome. It’s hoped that it will shed more light on the occupants of this region from the Roman period and onwards. The cemetery seems to have been in use after the Roman period, demonstrating continued occupancy. It’ll be interesting to find out the exact chronology of the site.

3300-year-old Mycenaean tomb holds cool stuff (link to article)

Mycenaean Tomb
Mycenaean Tomb

It’s been announced that a vaulted Mycenaean tomb has been uncovered near Amfissa, central Greece. It’s got a horde of treasures and seems to have been undisturbed. Amazing! The ceiling is collapsed but the walls are intact. There are tons of grave goods including painted pottery, jewelry, carved figures, weapons, and all sorts of fantastic things of the variety that we always hope to find in situ. The tomb seems to have been in use between 1300-1100 BCE. Great chance to find out more about the Mycenaeans.

“The Italians” by John Hooper (link to article)

Not the sort of thing I’d normally report on, but NatGeo had an interview with the author of this book and I thought it might be of some interest to readers. It discusses the relationship of modern Italy with the ancient, and I think it could be quite interesting. The author is a Brit so I really wonder how that impacts the work, though apparently he’s lived in Italy for some time. Perhaps something worth checking out, or at least the article.

Grave goods going on display in Aylesbury (link to article)

Metal detectorists strike again. The goods found in a field in Buckinghamshire last year are going on display in the Buckinghamshire County Museum. The grave had a wooden casket and an assortment of pottery and dishes, dated to the late 2nd century AD. Sounds like some pretty interesting finds!

Roman Mosaics found by treasure hunters (link to article)

Over in the central Anatolian province of Yozgat’s Sorgun district, a site with Roman mosaics have been found after being tampered with by illegal diggers. Legal action is underway to try and secure the site as an archaeological find. It looks like the diggers hoped there would be some good finds under the mosaic, and damaged it.

Dig in Brundall gardens hoping to find Roman settlement (link to article)

Cambridge University’s field school is working with local high school students to try and find evidence of Roman settlement. Not too much to report initially, but what a great initiative to get kids involved in archaeology!

Pottery found in Lawford Field (link to article)

From the Lawford site.
From the Lawford site.

A kiln and lots of bits of pottery have been found in a dig in Lawford by the Colchester Archaeological Trust. They’re scouring the area before it gets saddled with new housing developments. Not a fan of that news, but such is progress. The pottery is being taken in for cleaning, so it’ll be interesting to see what they find!

Did I miss anything that you thought was interesting this week? Let me know in the comments!


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