Milan - The remains of a pagan temple believed to have been devoted to the goddess Minerva have been found under the Milan Cathedral.
The announcement was made Wednesday during the presentation of other archaeological finds, the remains of the ancient Mediolanum Forum discovered recently under the basement of the building housing the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana and the Biblioteca Ambrosiana.
Archaeological excavations to unearth the remains of the large city that, beginning in 292 A.D., was the capital of the Western Roman Empire for over a century continue despite funding difficulties. So far, part of the floor made out of what is known as ‘Verona stone’ has been found. Read more.
Archaeologists have discovered six Pagan Saxon skeletons dating back over 1,000 years on a housing development site just a few miles from Stonehenge.
The discoveries, which also include round barrows dating back to the Bronze Age 4,000 years ago, were unearthed at a redundant brownfield development site in Amesbury, Wiltshire, which is also famous for the Amesbury Archer – an early Bronze Age man found buried among arrowheads.
The remains are thought to be those of adolescent to mature males and females. Five skeletons were arrayed around a small circular ditch, with the grave of a sixth skeleton in the centre. Two lots of beads, a shale bracelet and other grave goods were also found, which suggest the findings are Pagan. Read more.
As if raw athleticism weren’t enough, the ancient Olympics were the “total pagan entertainment package,” kicked off with an opening ceremony as memorable in its way as anything in 2012 London, says Tony Perrotet, author of The Naked Olympics: The True Story of the Ancient Games.
A “Woodstock of antiquity” followed, with nonexistent sanitation, pervasive prostitution, broken bones, animal sacrifice, and even doping. Also sports.
The historian spoke with National Geographic News before the 2004 Athens Olympics. His accounts remain illuminating today, as the Olympic torch—a modern invention, by the way—ignites the London games.
The Olympic Games were held every four years from 776 B.C. to A.D. 394, making them the longest-running recurring event in antiquity. What was the secret of the games’ longevity? Read more.
ARCHAEOLOGISTS have been showing off their discoveries from a dig in the Meon Valley.
Thames Valley Archaeological Services spent the week excavating a site north of West Meon near the A32.
The site had been used as a burial ground during both the Bronze Age period around 1700 BC and then again as a Saxon Cemetery around 700AD.
Dr Steve Ford, leader of the dig, said: “We have found around 30/35 graves and these are pagan Anglo Saxon men so some are buried with spears and we have also found a shield.
“Others are buried with knives and glass and stone beads and other bits of metal work so it has been quite a good find.” Read more.
Researchers have identified what is believed to be the world’s earliest surviving Christian inscription, shedding light on an ancient sect that followed the teachings of a second-century philosopher named Valentinus.
Officially called NCE 156, the inscription is written in Greek and is dated to the latter half of the second century, a time when the Roman Empire was at the height of its power.
An inscription is an artifact containing writing that is carved on stone. The only other written Christian remains that survive from that time period are fragments of papyri that quote part of the gospels and are written in ink. Stone inscriptions are more durable than papyri and are easier to display. NCE 156 also doesn’t quote the gospels directly, instead its inscription alludes to Christian beliefs. Read more.