Take part for free in excavation of Roman settlement – Kent

From Past Horizons

Are you are interested in taking part in an excavation of a Roman settelement in Otford, Sevenoaks, Kent?

The site is on grassland in the small rural village of Otford in Kent.

The site has produced large amounts of Roman finds over the last 100 years. We have just carried out excavations on the cemetery which has 400 graves from the early 1st Century to the early 4th.

This season we are going to try to find:

  1. The suspected building on the site
  2. Establish the edge of the settlement

We welcome people of all experience, training will be given to beginners.

Camping is available.

The excavation will take part from Sat 5th April to Sun 13th April 2008.

There is no cost to dig.

email: dwalshe5@hotmail.com

York rescue dig turns up Iron Age and Roman remains

From the BBC

Dig uncovers Iron Age waterhole

Archaeologists have found what they describe as a remarkable Iron Age waterhole on the site of an extension to York University.

The waterhole complete with a preserved wickerwork lining was revealed during excavations in Heslington village.

The structure also contains fragments of wood giving clues to the landscape of the time, about 2,500 years ago.

The university's archaeology department plans more digs at the site, which also contains an important Roman building.

The university plans to open the site to local archaeological community groups as well as allowing students access to a live dig.

'Fantastic opportunity'

Steve Roskams, of the Department of Archaeology, said: “Exciting archaeological discoveries very often follow hot on the heels of planned commercial developments. That's what has happened here.

“It's a fantastic opportunity to learn more about what our local landscape was like thousands of years ago, and we intend to make the most of it.”

Initial analysis suggests that the only evidence of high-status Roman architecture dates from quite late in the Roman period.

“If this is confirmed,” said Mr Roskams, “it could indicate that York was essentially little more than a military enclave during the early part of the Roman occupation, only developing into the full-scale imperial settlement of Eboracum centuries later.”

Access to Latin in UK Schools – a newly published survey

A 70 page report giving the results of a survey of all secondary schools in the UK has been published by the Cambridge Schools Classics Project. The hard copy, which many people will want for reference, can be ordered from the Project Office, price £12.95, by email or telephone (+44) (0)1223 361458.

The full report is also on line as pdf (see below for link).

I have skimmed the online version very quickly, and see that the findings have been set out with a clarity and lack of jargon worthy of Classicists (rather than 'educationalists'). The greater part of the report is in the form of informative maps and tables. It is clear, for instance that Somerset, where I delight to live for its natural beauty, is a county of shame when it comes to the provision of Latin in state schools. It stands out on one map (page 7) as a white area, and that means that 0% to 5% of state secondary schools offer Latin. Fortunately it is one of just a few authorities that are failing. Most of the map has at least some colour. Another map (page 19), shading areas more than 10 miles from any state secondary school offering Latin, again shows Somerset as one of the few areas of shame.

Having gained a general impression from the maps, one can see the details in the tables. Brief summaries in plain English follow each section of the report.

There are interesting and slightly surprising findings on the correlation between free school meals and Latin provision, and between schools offering Latin and pupils for whom English is a second language (p.25).

'Soundbite' type general findings are at the beginning and end of the report.

Martin Dawes deserves the congratulations and thanks of the Classics community for analysing and presenting such a wealth of information.

The survey is here.

Entry charge for the forum in Rome

A report in The Canadian Press says that entry to the Forum will no longer be free.