Archaeologists under the direction of Stephen Rowland and John Zant of the archaeological research institution, Oxford Archaeology North, U.K, will be excavating and investigating the remains of a large Roman settlement associated with the nearby Roman fort of Alauna near the northwestern U.K. coastal town of Maryport.
While much has already been excavated of the nearby fort (where another key excavation, known as the Roman Temples Project, is currently taking place), much less is known of this settlement site, located just northeast of the fort remains. Geophysical surveys have revealed detailed physical clues, including the tell-tale lines of buildings which archaeologists suggest may possibly have been houses and shops adjacent to both sides of what appears to have been the main street extending from the northeast gate of the fort. Thought to be an ancient civilian settlement, it is considered the largest currently known along the Hadrian’s Wall frontier. Read more.
A London banker will fund a second Roman archaeological dig in Maryport this year.
Christian Levett, a hedge fund manager, has given £500,000 to the Hadrian’s Wall Trust for the Camp farm dig and for one in Italy.
Mr Levett owns an archaeological magazine Minerva and an art museum in France.
The trust has appointed Oxford Archaeology North, based in Lancaster, to carry out the Maryport dig from August.
It will be led by Stephen Rowland and John Zant, and will examine part of a Roman civilian settlement just north east of the Roman fort. Read more.
Located near the small coastal town of Maryport in northwestern England, remains of the ancient Roman fort of Alauna were first uncovered by amateur archaeologist Joseph Robinson in the late 19th century. Among the finds were an assemblage of no less that 22 stone altars, some bearing inscriptions, that tell a story of successive Roman commanders who commanded this, one of Imperial Rome’s northernmost outposts during the height of the Roman Empire’s expanse. The altars now grace the nearby Senhouse Museum, which serves as a popular tourist attraction.
Now a team of archaeologists and volunteers have returned to the site where the original stone altars were found to uncover more clues about the layout of the fort and its associated settlement, and about the lives of the military officers and soldiers who manned this remote garrison. Led by Newcastle University’s Professor Ian Haynes and site director Tony Wilmott, the archaeologists have been here before. Read more.
A child’s grave and pits full of bone shards, tooth enamel, bead necklaces and Roman roofing have been discovered in the massive archaeological dig which has turned Camp Farm, in Maryport, into a hotbed of Roman finds this summer.
The westernmost pit at the Cumbria site has been revealed as a long cist grave. Its stone lining is typical of burials at the end and shortly after the Roman era in the west of Europe and southern Scotland.
“We’re discovering new things on an almost daily basis which are giving us new insights into what happened on this site across hundreds of years,” said Tony Wilmot, the site director.
“What we think we’re looking at is a Christian cemetery close to a sequence of Christian religious buildings. Read more.
The altar, discovered by Beckfoot volunteer John Murray, has lain buried for up to 1,600 years.
Tony Wilmott, site director of the Maryport excavation, said that it was the most exciting find he had known in 42 years as an archaeologist and 25 years working on Hadrian’s Wall.
He said: “I bought a bottle of whisky at the Birdoswald dig 25 years ago and offered it to the first person to find something like this.
“This time, the whisky went to John Murray.”
The excitement started soon after 9am on Wednesday when Mr Murray, 68, who was also responsible for finding a hoard of Roman coins a couple of years ago, was working in a pit previously excavated in Victorian times.
He said: “There was a lot of rock around and I noticed a piece with a line on it. I thought it might be a piece of something.”
He called Mr Wilmott and the two men carefully uncovered it. Read more.
A team of archaeologists, students and volunteers led by Newcastle University’s Professor Ian Haynes and Tony Wilmott has returned to continue excavations at the site of a massive ancient timber complex associated with the 2nd century Roman military fort complex in Maryport near the coast of northwestern Britain.
Part of the groundplan of the timber structure (or structures) was unearthed in 2011, raising questions and providing new clues related to the discovery of Roman altar stones uncovered there over 140 years ago.
Said Haynes: “Until last year’s excavation it was accepted by Roman scholars worldwide that the 17 Maryport altar stones excavated in 1870 at the site - Britain’s largest cache of Roman altars - had been buried as part of a religious ceremony. It turns out they were re-used in the foundations of a large Roman timber building or buildings.” Read more.
A series of dramatic discoveries made at Camp Farm in Maryport will rewrite the history books.
Experts originally believed that a unique cache of 17 altars, discovered in 1870, were buried as part of a religious ritual.
But this year’s excavations have debunked this age-old myth and proved beyond doubt that the they were re-used as part of the foundation of a huge building, possibly a temple.
Post-holes unearthed on the site indicate the presence of a massive timber building supported by thick pillars that would have made today’s telephone poles look puny.
Professor Ian Haynes, excavation director, said: “We can say we have basically destroyed the myth that’s been running for decades and that’s gratifying. Read more.
A historically important Roman altar stone has been discovered by archeologists digging in Maryport.
The excavation at Camp Farm is being led by Professor Ian Haynes, of Newcastle University with leading field archaeologist Tony Wilmott.
The site is internationally famous as the place where 17 altar stones found in 1870 - they are now on display in the museum at the town’s Senhouse Roman Museum.
Many stones would have made up the altar which was used in worship and Professor Haynes believes that the Maryport ditch could have been dug to enclose a sacred space, but he said further evidence is needed.
Fragments of Roman pottery found in the ditch are all Antonine or later, suggesting the ditch was filled up in the late second or early third centuries AD.
This newest stone is 22 cm high and 12cm wide and was found 75cm below the ground surface in a Roman ditch. Jane Laskey, curator of the Senhouse Roman Museum said she was excavating the ditch with a student from Newcastle University when they made the discovery. Read more.