Some recent Roman finds
This will be a short blog post today, as I have been and remain absolutely swamped in work. Aside from working on issue 11 of Ancient History, I am also still preparing an edited volume, the details of which will be revealed on either this blog or the Ancient Warfare one in the not-too-distant future. However, I have recently been alerted to some interesting archaeological discoveries that I will detail below.
Regular contributor Joe Hall informed me that there’s a large Roman excavation being undertaken in Leicester (ancient Ratae Corieltauvorum), at the site of the former Stibbe factory. The site is located to the north of the town’s forum and includes the remains of three Roman insulae, two streets, and two large Roman houses that seemed to have belonged to wealthy families. Among other things, the team has unearthed a large and beautiful Roman mosaic floor.
There’s a good article on the excavations over on the website of the University of Leicester Archaeological Services, from which I also pinched the photo used for this blog post’s thumbnail image. ULAS has also published 3D models of the mosaics on the Sketchfab website. Here’s one, there’s the other.
Closer to home, my colleague Mats Elzinga alerted me to the recent discovery in the Netherlands of a hoard of gold dated to ca. AD 460. This article in Dutch points out that the find thus dates from a short time before the ‘official’ fall of the Roman Empire in the west (AD 476), but neglects to mention that the Romans had actually already withdrawn from the Netherlands a few centuries before. Still, it’s an impressive find, originally discovered by metal detectorists, but currently excavated by archaeologists from the VU University and the national archaeological service.
The team will organize a press conference at Museum Het Valkhof in Nijmegen tomorrow, on Friday 2 June. They will also prepare a press kit with photographs and other material that will be published on the website of CLUE later that day, so you might want to bookmark that site and check it out tomorrow afternoon.
If you have any interesting news about the ancient world, feel free to let me know!