Roman Findings: Romans Underwater

The Sunken Ruins

Credit: AFP news agency

In the depths of the Mediterranean, lurking near Tunisia, the ancient city of Neapolis (new city) has been discovered. An old Roman city, it was washed away in a tsunami, swiping it away from the empire. The city has very little archaeological history behind it, probably due to their rebellions streak against the Romans. The city was discovered after years of hard work by Mounir Fantar who has led a joint Italian-Tunisian team in the exploration. They discovered streets, monuments and 100 tanks used to manufacture garum, a fermented fish condiment widely popular throughout the empire. This led them to confirm that Neapolis was a major center for garum and salt fish which probably made them very rich. I’ll await the underwater tours.

Neapolis

The New British Bellerophon

A large Roman mosaic, the first of its kind, was discovered in Berkshire, England. Only half of it has been uncovered but it is six meters long and very detailed. It depicts the hero Bellerophon riding Pegasus and attacking the Chimera. After his victory he receives Philonoe, daughter of King Iobates, as a gift in return for his great deed. This myth was later turned into the St. George story where he fights a dragon. A Cupid, Telamon and an Atlantid are in the mosaic as medallions and coming out of the frames. There is also a man in a coat with a club facing off against a centaur. This is believed to be Hercules fighting Nessus who was killed by Hercules in the myth. This finding was made by archaeologists with the Cotswold Archaeology with volunteers along with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This mosaic was discovered in a villa dating to the 5th century. Other portions had yet to even be identified and will probably take some time to identify. 

Mosaic

Mosaic II

Mosaic III

The Vindolanda Rooms

Vindolanda, a famous fort which I’ve covered in a previous new article, is in the news once again. This time, it’s a big find. The sheer size is large so I’ll have to summarize here. Here is a list of the finds:

  • Hidden in a room were wooden walls and floors, fences, pottery, animal bones
  • Multiple rooms including stables, living spaces, ovens and fireplaces
  • In the corner of a living room an iron sword with a wooden sheath and bent tip was found. The researchers believed it was a damaged weapon left behind.
  • An adjacent room had another sword with a wooden handle.
  • Two small wooden toy swords
  • Roman ink tablets
  • Bath clogs
  • Leather shoes
  • Stylus pens
  • Knives
  • Combs
  • Hairpins
  • Brooches
  • Cavalry lances
  • Arrow heads
  • Ballista bolts
  • Cooper-alloy fitments for saddles, junctions straps and harnesses in a condition which makes them shine

It is quite an astounding array of discoveries in such a short amount of time. Even the people involved were surprised at the size of the findings. Look at the second link as it will contain more pictures. Dr. Andrew Birley lead the excavations and I assume is very satisfied with the finds, as would I. Keep up the great work.

Vindolanda I

Vindolanda II

 

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