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http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22813219-12377,00.html

Expert sceptical of sacred Roman cave

By Silvia Aloisi in Rome, November 24, 2007

 

A LEADING Italian archaeologist said that the grotto whose discovery was announced this week in Rome is not the sacred cave linked to the myth of the city's foundation by Romulus and Remus.

 

The Culture Ministry and experts who presented the find said they were “reasonably certain” the cavern is the Lupercale - a sanctuary worshipped for centuries by Romans because, according to legend, a wolf nursed the twin brothers there.

 

But Adriano La Regina, Rome's superintendent of archaeology from 1976 to 2004, said ancient descriptions of the place suggest the Lupercale is elsewhere - 50 to 70 metres northwest of the cave discovered near Emperor Augustus' palace.

 

“I am positive this is not the Lupercale,” Mr La Regina told Reuters in an interview.

 

Instead, he believes the cave - which ministry pictures show is decorated with well-preserved seashells and coloured mosaics - was a room in Nero's first palace on the Palatine Hill, which burnt down in 64 AD in the great fire of Rome.

 

The Culture Ministry had no immediate comment on the statements from Mr La Regina, who pointed to a description of the Lupercale given by Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus in his major work on early Roman history, Roman Antiquities.

 

Dionysius said the Lupercale, which draws its name from the Latin word for wolf, was close to the Temple of Victory, also on the Palatine Hill, while the cave unveiled this week was found near the Temple of Apollo.

 

“If this were the Lupercale, Dionysius would have surely mentioned the Temple of Apollo, which was much bigger and more famous than the Temple of Victory,” said Mr La Regina.

 

He said the mosaics and other decorations found in the cave were typical of Nero's era and its structure similar to a grotto found in the emperor's new palace, the lavish Domus Aurea (House of Gold) he built after his first mansion went up in flames.

 

According to Mr La Regina, the cave was a nymphaeum, or an artificial grotto used for dinners and receptions, which often had a fountain.

 

“This remains a great discovery because it is so well-preserved,” he said.

 

The cave was found thanks to a camera probe 16m underground in a previously unexplored area during restoration work on the palace of Augustus, the first Roman emperor.

 

According to the myth, Romulus and Remus, twin sons of the god Mars, were abandoned in a cradle by the banks of the river Tiber where a wolf found them and fed them with her milk.

 

The brothers are said to have founded Rome at the site on April 21, 753 BC and ended up fighting over who should rule.

 

Romulus killed Remus and became the first king of Rome.

 

http://www.thespoof.com/news/spoof.cfm?headline=s4i27364

Beatles Cavern Club Just A Toilet

Written by Egg Man

Story written: 24 November 2007

 

A leading British archaeologist said that the grotto whose discovery was announced this week in Liverpool was not the sacred cave linked to the legendary founding of the Mersey Sound spearheaded by the Beatles.

 

The Culture Ministry and experts who presented the find said they were "reasonably certain" that the cavern was nothing more than a public toilet that had somehow become built over and forgotten. The whereabouts of the famous Beatles cavern has led to much speculation, some remember it as being a cellar and others remember it as being in a cave.

 

Paul McCartney told our roving archaeologist that he just remembered it as "A hole" and the only other remaining Beatle Ring Star said he "cant remember a bloody thing about the sixties".

 

The team of archaeologists who stumbled on the cave say the hunt to find the lost Cavern Club will go on. "We were obviously disappointed not to have found the legendary Cavern Club but our search will go on".

 

A spokesman for the Liverpool council said "Finding the lost toilet has had a wonderful spin off, the graffiti on the walls gives us an insight to the world of public toilet users from long ago, we hope to clean it up and open it to the public as an art gallery, everybody will be required to take a piss instead of an entrance fee".

 

It is hoped Sir Paul McCartney will open the gallery in the spring, "Who knows, Paul may be the first person to piss in the urinal since the sixties" said a delighted aging hippy from Knotty Ash.

 

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

 

http://www.24dash.com/environment/29455.htm

Royal burial ground unearthed

Publisher:  Sonia Bennett

Published: 20/11/2007 - 13:45:58 PM

 

A royal Anglo-Saxon burial ground and some of the finest gold jewellery ever unearthed in the country has been discovered by a freelance archaeologist.

 

The 109-grave cemetery is arranged in a rectangular pattern and dates from the middle of the 7th Century.

 

The cemetery, bed burial and high status objects are considered to all indicate the people buried must have connections with Anglo-Saxon royalty.

 

Traditionally, Anglo Saxon royalty were always buried in the south of England and it is thought the royals buried at the Cleveland site could be linked to the Kentish Princess Ethelburga who travelled north to marry Edwin, King of Northumbria.

 

It was unearthed by freelance archaeologist Steve Sherlock after he studied an aerial photograph of land in East Cleveland, near Redcar.

 

The site is being kept secret but its contents are due to go on public display at a local museum.

 

The excavations, which began in 2005 and continued under Steve's supervision with help from Tees Archaeology and local volunteers, working four-six weeks every summer, have covered an area the size of half a football pitch near Loftus discovering a cemetery of 109 burials.

 

Mr Sherlock, an archaeologist since 1979, said: "Whilst human bone does not survive because of the acidic soils, a range of high status jewellery was found, including glass beads, pottery, iron knives and belt buckles.

 

"Five of the graves had gold and silver brooches and a further burial had a seax, a type of Anglo-Saxon sword."

 

"One burial had been placed upon a bed with the lady dressed wearing three gold brooches, one of which is unparalleled in Anglo-Saxon England.

 

"Quite who this person was we may never know, but we can say she was alive at the time St Hilda was establishing the monastery at Whitby.

 

"Preliminary analysis of the finest brooch suggests it was made with Merovingian gold, indicating possible continental links.

 

"The other brooches are all thought to have originated in Kent and so it is clear the people buried near Loftus had access to the best craftsworkers in Anglo-Saxon England."

 

Tees Archaeology officer, Robin Daniels, said: "This is the only known Anglo Saxon royal burial site in the North of England.

 

"It is the most dramatic find of Anglo Saxon material for generations."

 

The Teesside coroner needs to conduct an inquest to confirm the 'treasure' definition and the finds will then be valued by a panel of experts from the British Museum.

 

Redcar and Cleveland Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism, Sheelagh Clarke, said: "This is a fantastic discovery.

 

"I'm so looking forward to seeing it on show in the museum.

 

"It will be a superb attraction."

 

http://www.zeenews.com/znnew/articles.asp?rep=2&aid=408766&sid=FTP&sname=&news=7th%20Century%20Anglo-Saxon%20cemetry%20found

7th Century Anglo-Saxon cemetery found

London, Nov 21

 

A 7th Century royal Anglo-Saxon burial ground has been discovered in East Cleveland, UK – the only such graveyard in the north of the country.

 

Also found at the site was a range of high status jewellery, including glass beads, pottery, iron knives and belt buckles.

 

The grave was discovered back in 2005 by freelance archaeologist Steve Sherlock after he studied an aerial photograph of land in East Cleveland.

 

Since then, he has been supervising the excavations done with help from Tees Archaeology and local volunteers, working four-six weeks every summer.

 

Till now the team has uncovered 109 graves in an area the size of half a football pitch.

 

Mr Sherlock, an archaeologist since 1979, said that the cemetery, bed burial and high status objects all indicated the people buried must have connections with Anglo-Saxon royalty.

 

"Whilst human bone does not survive because of the acidic soils, a range of high status jewellery was found, including glass beads, pottery, iron knives and belt buckles," 24dash.com quoted him, as saying.

 

"Five of the graves had gold and silver brooches and a further burial had a seax, a type of Anglo-Saxon sword.

 

"One burial had been placed upon a bed with the lady dressed wearing three gold brooches, one of which is unparalleled in Anglo-Saxon England.

 

"Quite who this person was we may never know, but we can say she was alive at the time St Hilda was establishing the monastery at Whitby.

 

"Preliminary analysis of the finest brooch suggests it was made with Merovingian gold, indicating possible continental links.

 

"The other brooches are all thought to have originated in Kent and so it is clear the people buried near Loftus had access to the best craftsworkers in Anglo-Saxon England."

 

Tees Archaeology officer, Robin Daniels, said: "This is the only known Anglo Saxon royal burial site in the North of England.

 

"It is the most dramatic find of Anglo Saxon material for generations." The next step is for the Teesside coroner to conduct an inquest to confirm the `treasure` definition, after which the find will be valued by a panel of experts from the British Museum.

 

http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/2007/11/20/anglo-saxon-treasures-discovered-in-loftus-84229-20133293/

Anglo-Saxon treasures discovered in Loftus

 

Nov 20 2007 by Mike Morgan, Evening Gazette

 

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have uncovered the North of England’s first known Anglo-Saxon Royal burial ground at a secret East Cleveland location.

 

More than 100 graves, many containing treasures including ancient weapons and jewellery, have been uncovered at the excavation site near Loftus.

 

The exciting finds include gold and silver brooches, dating back to the seventh century, which may have had connections with the Kings of Northumbria,

 

The discovery by freelance archaeologist Steve Sherlock is being hailed by experts as “unparalleled in Anglo-Saxon England”.

 

Tees Archaeology officer Robin Daniels said: “This is the only known Anglo-Saxon Royal burial site in the North of England.

 

“It’s the most dramatic find of Anglo-Saxon material for generations.”

 

Mr Sherlock discovered the site after examining an aerial photograph which showed evidence of an Iron Age site.

 

Excavations began unobtrusively in 2005 and continued under Steve’s supervision with help from Tees Archaeology and local volunteers, working four-six weeks every summer.

 

Their efforts have covered an area the size of half a football pitch near Loftus, unearthing a cemetery of 109 burials.

 

Mr Sherlock, an archaeologist since 1979, said: “I knew the significance of the site straightaway after being involved in excavating an Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Norton.

 

“A range of high status jewellery has been found, including glass beads, pottery, iron knives and belt buckles.

 

“But five of the graves had gold and silver brooches and a further burial had a seax, a type of Anglo-Saxon knife.”

 

He added: “One burial had been placed upon a bed with the lady dressed wearing three gold brooches, one of which is unparalleled in Anglo-Saxon England.

 

“Quite who this person was we may never know, but she was alive at the time St Hilda was establishing the famous monastery at Whitby!”

 

Now the Teesside coroner will conduct an inquest to decide whether they are “treasure trove” ahead of the finds being valued by a panel of experts from the British Museum.

 

If it is a treasure it will become the property of the Crown and could go on show in a museum and the finders will receive a financial reward.

 

If it is decided it is not a treasure then it will be returned to the finder.

 

The finds were due to be publicly unveiled for the first time today by Redcar and Cleveland Council at Kirkleatham Museum, Redcar.

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/coventry_warwickshire/7108175.stm

Enthusiast unearths Iron Age comb

 

A 2,000-year-old Iron Age comb unearthed in Warwickshire is one of nearly 60,000 archaeological finds made by members of the public in a year.

 

The comb, found in Tanworth-in-Arden by metal detector enthusiast Russell Peach, was one of the most notable of the antiquities unearthed in 2006.

 

The copper-alloy comb was possibly left there between 25AD and 75AD.

 

Three-quarters of the finds were unearthed using metal detectors; the rest were found by accident.

 

Details of the discoveries were contained in the Portable Antiquities Scheme Annual Report, launched on Thursday at the British Museum.

 

Other notable finds include a copper-alloy Roman horse and rider figure, which was found in Cambridgeshire.

 

A total of 58,290 finds were recorded by the project during the year 2006/2007, taking the number of finds recorded over the past decade to more than 300,000.

 

Culture Secretary Margaret Hodge said: "This report brings home to us once again the extent and richness of our 'hidden heritage'.

 

"As public interest in it continues unabated, I am pleased to acknowledge the many thousands of responsible metal detectorists and amateur archaeologists who continue to help make the past a living thing for present and future generations."

 

Under the Treasure Act 1996, people who find gold and silver objects more than 300 years old have a legal obligation to report them to the authorities.

 

Because the comb is made of copper-alloy and not gold or silver it does not qualify as a treasure find.

 

Important archaeological sites have been discovered as a result of the objects recorded, including Anglo-Saxon burial sites in Derbyshire, Suffolk and Warwickshire.

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=495611&in_page_id=1770&ito=newsnow

Found in a farmer's field: The 2,000-year-old skeleton of the lost lady of Rome

By CHRIS BROOKE - More by this author » Last updated at 09:14am on 23rd November 2007

 

In her lifetime she was a member of a wealthy family based in a bustling British outpost of the world's mightiest empire.

 

The imperial glory has long faded. But, almost 2,000 years on, archaeologists have discovered a corner of an English field that is forever Rome. They have unearthed a coffin containing a remarkably well-preserved skeleton in the village of Aldborough, near Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire - once the site of a major Roman town, Isurium Brigantium.

 

The archaeologists, conducting a two-week excavation project, were searching for Roman artefacts with a metal detector when they found the 6ft lead coffin inside a stone chamber only 12in below the surface of a barley field.

 

'Exciting find': the 2,000-year-old lead coffin and skeleton are examined by Mags Felter of the York Archaeological Trust

 

The skeleton is believed to date from between the 2nd and 4th centuries, and is largely intact. It is over 5ft long and even has a full set of teeth. Experts have yet to scientifically age or sex the remains, but are confident it is a woman from a well-to-do family - her status reflected in the expensive coffin.

 

Analysis of the skeleton may yield fascinating information about her lifestyle and diet.

 

The expensive lead coffin signifies the person buried was of high status

 

Isurium was an important garrison which evolved into a prosperous imperial outpost complete with baths and a temple. The excavation was carried out by the York Archaeological Trust with funding from English Heritage.

 

Ian Panter, the trust's principal conservator, said:

"I've only ever worked on one other Roman lead coffin burial and that was from the South of England 20 years ago, so this is a really exciting find."

 

Yesterday, the British Museum revealed an extraordinary 58,290 archaeological objects had been unearthed by members of the public in the last year.

 

More than three quarters of them were found using metal detectors.

 

An Iron Age comb was recently discovered using this method by Russell Peach, a groundsman from Worcestershire.

 

The copper alloy comb, which dates from AD25 to AD75 is thought to have been used for horses and has been described by the British Museum as a "phenomenal thing".

 

The museum encourages the portable antiquities scheme, a voluntary code to encourage metal detector owners in England and Wales to report finds to local museums.

 

The scheme is so successful that as many 300,000 finds were reported in its first decade.

 

http://uk.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUKL1558737720071115?sp=true

Roman road, bath unearthed near Jewish temple site

Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:22pm GMT

By Rebecca Harrison

 

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a second century terraced street and bath house which provide vital clues about the layout of Roman Jerusalem.

 

The Israel Antiquities Authority said the 30-metre (90-foot) alley was used by the Romans to link the central Cardo thoroughfare with a bath house and with a bridge to the Temple Mount, once the site of Jerusalem's ancient Jewish temple.

 

"We find bits of Roman road all the time but this discovery helped us piece together a picture of Roman Jerusalem," Jon Seligman, Jerusalem regional archaeologist, told Reuters at the site. "It was a real Eureka moment."

 

The Romans razed the second Jewish temple during the sacking of Jerusalem in 70 AD but later built a colony in the area, and called it Aelia Capitolina.

 

Archaeologists say the street is remarkably well preserved. After clearing away mounds of earth, workers are painstakingly restoring the alley, which runs between walls of ashlar stone and is paved with large flagstones.

 

The remains of the street, which now runs below a sewage channel and offices belonging to the Chief Rabbi of the Western Wall remnant of the temple compound, will form part of Jerusalem's Western Wall tunnel tours for tourists.

 

Archaeologists also discovered the outside wall of a large building which they believe is a Roman bath house because of the latrines outside and pipes which appear to have operated an under floor heating system.

 

They will start excavation on that site shortly.

 

The Antiquities Authority said the discovery of the alley, a stone's throw from the Western Wall, may add weight to the theory that the Temple Mount complex was a focal point of Roman life even after the destruction of the temple itself.

 

The complex is also revered by Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) and houses Islam's third-holiest mosque, making it Jerusalem's most contested site and giving it a pivotal role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

 

Seligman said the newly-discovered alley once led to an important bridge over a ravine known during the time of Jesus as the Valley of the Cheese makers.

 

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/145944.html

Excavation unearths ancient synagogue

Wed, 21 Nov 2007 19:23:13 GMT

 

JERUSALEM, Nov. 21 Excavations in the Arbel National Park in Israel revealed the remains of an ancient synagogue from the Roman-Byzantine era, Israeli archaeologists said.

 

The synagogue's design, said dig leader Uzi Leibner of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, offered a good example of eastern Roman architecture, the university said Wednesday in a news release. A special feature of the synagogue is its mosaic floor.

 

The synagogue was found at the foot of the Mount Nitai cliffs overlooking the Sea of Galilee in a large Jewish village from the Roman-Byzantine period, Leibner said. So far, the northern part of the synagogue, with two rows of benches along the walls have been excavated.

 

The archaeologists said they hope to gain a better picture of rural Jewish life in Roman-era Galilee, Leibner said. Besides unearthing the synagogue, they uncovered residential dwellings and other facilities at the site, such as a sophisticated olive oil press and two-story homes.

 

http://www.medindia.net/news/Wafts-from-Vintage-Wine-Greet-Chinese-Archaeologists-29628-1.htm

Wafts from Vintage Wine Greet Chinese Archaeologists

 

While excavating an ancient tomb, Chinese archaeologists have chanced upon a sealed bronze pot, containing a red liquid that weighed two kilograms.

 

 

Wafts from a vintage brew greeted the archaeologists after they opened the pot, The China Daily reports.

 

The tomb is believed to have been built during the Warring States Period which lasted from 475 BC to 221 BC.

 

The find has been sent to Beijing for tests and verification.

 

Source-ANI

KAR/P