‘Rostrum’ found in sea off Sicily

The Post Chronicle

Italian researchers say a rostrum, used by ancient Romans to ram enemy ships, was found off the coast of Sicily.

The rare bronze appendage may have been used in the final naval battle of the First Punic War, ANSA reported Tuesday. The rostrum was recovered about 230 feet below the surface by divers aided by remotely operated vehicles.

Sicily’s maritime affairs department department head, Sebastiano Tusa, said the Egadi rostrum confirms his theory that a battle took place northeast of the island of Levanzo between fleets from Rome and Carthage during the Battle of the Egadi in 241 B.C., the Italian news agency said. (c) UPI

Report of a primary school day in Caerleon

Pupils hit the Roman road back in time

ROMAN Britain was brought back to life by pupils at Llanilltud Faerdef Primary School.

Years three, four and five spent the day at the Roman Baths in Caerleon.

And a wonderful day was had by all as pupils travelled back in time more than 1,500 years and donned armour for battle in their soldiers’ outfits.

The children also spent time at the barracks and investigated Roman wall art – while also paying a visit to the legionary museum.

Afterwards pupil Hannah Williams said: “I enjoyed the play acting in the Colosseum when Sir had to pick who lived or died.”

Rhodri Poacher added: “I liked playing in the Colosseum.”

And Bryce Marshall said: “I liked the museum and in particular the pictures of the gems that were found.”

Walk along a Welsh Roman road this Sunday

RESIDENTS of Neath will have a chance to step back in time on Sunday, July 6, when The Sarn Helen Walk takes place.

Walkers are invited to join Neath Port Talbot Countryside and Environmental
Group on a 10km journey which follows the footsteps Romans would have
taken between the Forts of Banwen and Nidum.

They will meet at Ynys-y-Gerwyn Cricket Club, Aberdulais, at 9.50am.

Buses will then leave for Roman Road, Banwen, at 10am, where the walk will begin.

Sturdy walking boots should be worn, and the walk should take three to four hours.

For more information call group secretary D Fowler on 01792 816900.

The Mail’s take on the Caerwent dig

Daily Mail

(I think this is the Time Team dig I reported recently. The Mail piece includes a photo.)

One of Britain’s very first shopping centres has been unearthed – a
high street that was fashionable 1,800 years ago when togas were still
in vogue.

A row of narrow shop buildings uncovered by
archaeologists shows that the Romans in Britain had their very own
well-heeled fashionistas.

The shop buildings used by the stylish
Romans in ancient Britain were uncovered by archaeologists in fields at
Monmouthshire, South Wales.

The site, now occupied only by the
rural village of Caerwent near Newport, was formerly Venta Silurum –
one of 15 major towns in Britain at the time.

Crucially for archaeologist, unlike most of these 15 towns Venta
Silurum did not stay important. Instead it declined – and so escaped
the demolition, rebuilding and enlargement that have obliterated early
remains elsewhere over the centuries.

Archaeologists say the
surviving evidence show it was affluent and fashionable in Roman times,
with wealthy villas in the suburbs.

A villa with painted walls
and mosaic floors among the other finds also points to the town being
home to wealthy Romans in the Third Century AD, when Venta Silurum was

Archaeologist Tom Scott described the 44-acre site as ‘beautifully preserved’.

He said: ‘Discovering the shop buildings and the villa, it seems as if people lived here in some style.

‘The site appealed to us as it is one of the best preserved Roman towns in the UK.

‘This was a golden opportunity for us to find out more about it.’

team of 50 worked on the excavation at the Roman site including members
of Wessex Archaeology and volunteers from the local Chepstow
Archaeology Society.

Seven trenches were dug at three different locations to uncover more about previously unexcavated parts of the town.

Long thin buildings were also found in several places – believed to be shop buildings on the high street.

Key finds included a penknife hilt of bone depicting two gladiators fighting.

artefacts uncovered included coins, glass, ceramics, human and animal
bones, lead patches used for repairing, and bits of mosaic.

Scott said: ‘This type of town was a “civitas capital” – a civilian
town and centre of local Roman government – one of around 15 in the UK.

‘Most of these had later towns built on top so you can’t see the town walls, but Caerwent is beautifully preserved.’

Archaeologist Jacqueline McKinley said: ‘The large villa we found suggests this was a posh part of town.

‘We also found animal bones on the site which suggests that at least one of the high street shops was a butchers.

‘It looks as if the animal bones belonged to joints of meat that would have been displayed in the shop window.

‘It was a very successful dig and filled in some gaps in our knowledge of the ancient town.’

Roman Wiltshire day on July 19th

From This is Salisbury

A WINDOW will be opened on Wiltshire’s Roman past at two events being held at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre to mark National Archaeology Day on July 19.

There will be a series of Roman-inspired activities for children such as mosaic making, sorting through real Roman finds and dressing up as a Roman soldier.

Sessions will be held between 11am and 12pm and 12pm and 1pm.

There will be a talk by Phil Andrews from Wessex Archaeology and county archaeologist Melanie Pomeroy-Kellinger, about recent field work at Truckle Hill Roman Bath House in North Wraxall between 2pm and 3pm.

This will be followed by a tour of the site between 3.30pm and 4.30pm, although visitors will need their own transport to get to and from it, with the journey taking about 20 minutes each way.

Both events are being organised by Wiltshire County Council’s archaeology service together with Wessex Archaeology.

Places at all these events are free but they need to be booked in advance. To book call Nancy Danks on 01249 705504 or email nancydanks@wiltshire.gov.uk.