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Romans

Rome’s Gone! Lights Out

Going back to a topic I’ve blogged about before seen here

https://wordpress.com/post/gingerarchaeology.wordpress.com/14

what happened after the Romans “left” did Britain just stop as we entered the dark ages as were taught? where king author pranced around Britain; convenatly visiting every modern day tourist attraction in the UK, and saved the day.

Or do we find that the impact was a lot less severe and actually links in with the conquest less 400 years earlier, were we saw a number of British tribes welcome and work with the Roman invaders, being “Romanised”  both before, during and after the conquest.

The ending of Roman Britain is traditionally ascribed to AD 410 – when, Rome withdrew her under the command of the Constantine III, due to the slowly colapsion empire and the eventual sacking of the “eternal city” Rome by the Goths.

The illusive date of 410 is provided by the text of an imperial edict of Honorius recorded by the late 5th century Greek writer Zosimus, which orders a number of places to defend themselves. One of these is ‘Brettia’, generally taken to be Britain, but as the other places in the list are towns in Italy, it seems much more likely that the name is a textual error which should be emended to Bruttium, a town in southern Italy. So the famous text telling “Britain to defend itself” might actually be false.

Never the less life still went on after the Romans withdrew from Britain, with life for many carrying on as norm, The Major issue was the lack of imported coinage that lead to a economic collapse around the 5 – 6th AD aka “The Dark Ages”.

However I feel the Dark ages weren’t so bleak, For the whole concept of Rome Pulls out means a complete stop to the roman way of life and virtues I feel is wrong. Being a part of the empire in a way is like some sort of business franchise, you imprint your ideas and ideals on the; in this case, local populous who then are Romanised and so were still Romanised heading into the 5 and even 6 century.

The Dark ages link to the whole idea that nothing much was recoded down except a lot of bleak and gloomy issues, however as stated above maybe it wasn’t so “Dark” maybe more mellow! Ideas? GA

 

 

 

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From Past To Present, From Caving To Cleaning!

Last week saw a huge variety in activities, I was in London over the first weekend and managed to once gain work my way around the hussle and bussle of the British Museum; Truly one of the greatest Museums in the world. However my main bulk of the week has been being involved in archaeological experience, something that I regularly do.

I was cleaning a variety of artefacts from Animal/Human Bone, to Flints predominantly dating back to the early roman occupation of Lincolnshire in Britain, believed to be around 44AD. Lincolnshire’s soil; for the most part, is brilliant at preservation of organic and non organic materials and so we do get a lot of artefact’s on sites.

However the highlight of the week was being invited on a special trip with the Archaeologist I shadow to get a special tour around Fox Hole Cave in the Peak District, I will create a separate Blog all about this as its a fascinating site is hidden away in the Mythological Landscape of the peak district.

The cave was occupied throughout prehistory beginning in the Paeleolithic, while in the Neolithic it was used to house a burial, the bones being the oldest known bones yet recovered from the White Peak. Some of the finds from the caves are/were displayed at the local Buxton Museum. Including a rare adult, male brown bear skull dates that dates back to 14,100 BC. He would have used one of the small, dry chambers to hibernate and his bone chemistry indicate that plant matter was a surprisingly important part of his diet.

The Cave also contains numerous story’s including the archaeology of archaeology, where the original Victorian excavation and 1930’s techniques and remains can still be seen.

It has been a great varied week and goes to show that “Archaeologists don’t just dig holes!” The article on Fox Hole Cave will be up Friday/Saturday! GA

Antiochia ad Cragum Unearthed

Excavation director Michael Hoff poses with the Turkish students have been hard at work, excavating the remains of Antiochia ad Cragum, a Roman city founded in the first central on the southern coast of Turkey.

Bouletarian (City Council House)

So far shops, Colonnaded Streets, Mosaics, Bathhouses and even a Bouletarian (City Council House) have been found the site covers 7 acres (3 hectares), is located on the sparsely populated outskirts of the town of Gazipaş, atop craggy cliffs in an area that is today dominated by wheat fields. Little is known about the city even from ancient sources, and though the archaeological site had been identified in the early 19th century. 

One of the most interesting finds has to be an almost perfect head of Medusa. (Seen In the Featured Image at the top of this page) At Antiochia, a Medusa architectural sculpture would have served an apotropaic function, intended to avert evil —but later, her likeness would have been considered idolatrous by the Christians who came to live at the site. It’s also a surprising find as the people living at Antiochia later were zealous Christians who were destroying art.

Much of the Roman artwork from the site has been lost. Sometime after Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire in the fourth century, several churches were built at Antiochia. Hoff said “his team has found lots of broken sculptural parts and bits of statues that had smashed into pieces; they’ve also found evidence of the Christian kilns where the marble artwork would become mortar.” GA

Samnites Tomb found at Pompeii!

Really Interesting find and something I will be defiantly visiting next time im down!

http://www.thelocal.it/20150921/exceptional-pre-roman-tomb-unearthed-in-pompeii

Hopefully this will shed the way for more sites to see what was going on in the area before the roman occupation. GA

Thumbs down! Why it’s a disaster to restore the Colosseum

The €18m Floor that will be built in the coliseum.

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2015/aug/06/colosseum-rome-restore-new-floor-disaster-hollywood-tourists

Personally I feel that tourists flock to the Coliseum to see it as a ruin and a shell of its former glory. Its been a ruin for 1500 years and their are many beautiful images of it as a ruin that have cropped up throughout history. Money should be spent on making sure the structure is sound and will last in its current state for many years to come. Your views? GA

Coliseo_medievalGiovanni_Battista_Piranesi,_The_Colosseum iphone5c 085

Ancient Roman frescos found in southern France

Archeologists in Arles have unearthed one of the only full Roman murals ever found outside Italy

Link Bellow

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11733670/Ancient-Roman-frescos-worthy-of-Pompeii-found-in-southern-France.html

Just goes to show that even to this day, all across the world, There are still artefacts to find in Explicit condition GA

Rome series Part 3 Largo di Torre Argentina

Part 3 of the series on Rome.

This week, A Brief history of Largo di Torre Argentina

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Largo di Torre Argentina is beautiful square situated in the heart of Rome. It hosts four Republican Roman temples. The four temples were reconstructed in the imperial era, after the fire of AD 80.

The Temple of Juturna was built by Gaius Lutatius Catulus after his victory against the Carthaginians in 241 BC. It was later rebuilt into a church with its apse still present. It’s a beautiful rectangular design and boast a lot of detail and truly shows how architecturally important these buildings were.

Fortuna Huiusce Diei, a lovely circular temple with six columns still in situe. It was built by Quintus Lutatius Catulus in 101 BC in fulfillment of his vow at the Battle of Vercellae.

Feronia the ancient Italic goddess of fertility is the most ancient temple of the four, dating back to the 3rd century BC, After the fire of 80 AD, this temple was restored, and the white and black mosaic of the inner temple cell dates back to this restoration.

Devoted to Lares Permarini it is the largest of the four and dates back to 2nd century BC with Late Republican restorations, but only a small part of it has been excavated. The modern day city of Rome sadly covers a lot of this majestic temple.

The site is a small hidden Jem in Rome and is off the beaten track; about half a mile from the Pantheon. You also may notice the cats around and in the temple. It is used as a cat sanctuary for the large number of strays. GA

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Rome series Part 2 Pantheon

Part 2 of the series on Rome.

This week, A Brief The history of the Pantheon

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Again all the pictures on here are ones I took myself, so ask if you want to use them and don’t use them without permission.

The site is situated in the bussing metropolitan shopping area of Rome in the Piazza della Rotonda.

It is one of the best preserved Ancient Roman sites in the world. This is clear from the outside and within; it’s hard to imagine that the site is 2000 years old. The site has been in use throughout history and since the 7th century the Pantheon has been used as a church dedicated to “St. Mary and the Martyrs”

The Pantheon’s dome is the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome with the height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43.3 metres. Which itself is an amazing feet of engineering and truly shows how Humanity is able to forget and have to relearn old techniques and engineering techniques.

After the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, Marcus Agrippa started construction on the Pantheon it  was a part of the complex on his own property in the Campus Martius in 29-19 BC, which included three buildings aligned from south to north including the Baths of Agrippa, the Basilica of Neptune, and of course the Pantheon. Believed to be all private buildings and not meant to be open to the public as a (aedes publicae), public temples

The inscription on the front of the Pantheon spells.

M·AGRIPPA·L·F·COS·TERTIVM·FECIT

“Marcus Agrippa Lucii filius cons ul tertium fecit,” meaning “Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius.

Rome suffered a number of large fires throughout its history in 60, 64, 79, 100 and 110 A.D. The first Pantheon was severely damaged during a fire and was later rebuilt by Domitian. That building was destroyed in another fire which lead The Emperor Hadrian  to build the temple we know today as the Pantheon during the period 118 to 128 A.D. There was a tradition in Rome to rebuild temples like the previous one.

It’s Interesting to walk around the site both inside and out, you notice a lot of how the building was constructed with double arches for example and how it was used. Inside is a stunning mixture of light and wall/Statue art that creates an amazing atmosphere

Just bear in mind it is still used as a catholic church to this day. Truly worth a visit.

GA

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Rome series Part 1 Coliseum

Part 1 of the series on Rome.

This week, A Brief The history of the Coliseum

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Over the New year 2014. I was able to get myself over to Rome to look at the sights and submerge myself in Italian culture. So all the pictures on here are ones I took myself, so if you use them without permission.

The site is situated east of the roman forum and in the 21st century, right next to Coloso Metro station

Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in 72 AD, and was completed in 80 AD under his successor and his heir Titus. The amphitheatre is built of concrete and stone and is the largest amphitheatre ever built and is considered one of the greatest works of architecture and engineering of the roman world. And stands as one of the most iconic buildings in Rome.

The Amphitheatrum Flavium or coliseum was built on top of Nero’s pleasure palace “Domus Aurea” The coliseum sits on top of the artificial lake surrounded by pavilions, gardens and porticoes, which was all feed by the existing Aqua Claudia aqueduct. After Nero’s death the whole site was torn down and reclaimed back.

It is estimated that between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators would have spectated the gladiatorial contests, animal hunts, public spectacles, mock sea battles, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology.

The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. When It was later reused for housing, workshops, and quarters for a religious order, eventually it became a fortress, a stone quarry to use the stone in the construction of buildings in Rome, and finally a Christian shrine.

The site itself is awe-inspiring. The sheer size of the complex is upstanding and cannot be described. You get a real sense that this place showed the enemies of Rome the sheer power and wealth of Rome, The whole place comes to life when you look across and see the scale of the place. GA

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