Roman Junction What’s Your Function?

From Cambs Times:

The find reveals a new junction on the historic Fen Causeway road which runs underneath Whitemoor Marshalling Yards, the site where Network Rail are building a brand new railway reycling centre worth £23 million.

The discovery points towards the town’s ancient history as a centre for settlement and trade, and provides evidence of further links to nearby settlements.

North Pennines Archaeology Ltd sent workers to the Whitemoor site to investigate the remains of the rail yard and establish whether the course of the Fen Causeway had been fully removed by the rail yard’s construction.

The archaeologists came across a 12 metre-wide road and an additional eight metre-wide road heading south-west of the junction. It is believed that this was built to meet an east-west road recently excavated at the County Council’s waste transfer facility at Melbourne Avenue.

Another possible road, though less well preserved, heads north-eastwards towards known settlements and the salterns in the Longhill Road area.

Kasia Gdaniec, of the Cambridgeshire County Council’s Historic Environment Team, said: “This has been a rare opportunity to investigate an unexpectedly well-preserved section of the Fen Causeway. It is the first time that a junction has been found in association with it,”

She added: “March has a wealth of fantastic archaeological remains that are exciting and challenging in equal measure.”

The discovery falls under the former marshalling yards where a new national railway recyling centre is in the second phase of construction. The centre will enable Network Rail to sort, clean, process, recycle and re-use railway materials.

The centre aims to create even more jobs in the town.

via Roman road junction discovered at Network Rail site | Cambs Times.

Ancient Folks and the Proust Questionnaire

Over at PhDiva, Dorothy King has managed to convince some dead personnages to fill out the Proust Questionnaire, which was originally some sort of personality test/interview format, but is currently more commonly seen in the back pages of Vogue wherein celebs find yet another reason to talk about themselves. Over the past week, though, it has been rather interesting:

… interesting how Mithradates and Cleo respond in the same ‘business-like’ font while Mark Antony is rather more, er, ornate …

The Benefits of Classics

A couple of interesting items on the benefits of Classics have meandered through my social networks and email this week. First, and most recent (within a few minutes) is an ‘open letter’ in the journal Genome Biology, in which a Science professor smacks down SUNY Albany’s prez for their recent cuts to, among other things, Classics (about which I hope to blog in the near future) … an excerpt, inter alia (the whole thing is definitely worth reading):

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that you have trouble understanding the importance of maintaining programs in unglamorous or even seemingly ‘dead’ subjects. From your biography, you don’t actually have a PhD or other high degree, and have never really taught or done research at a university. Perhaps my own background will interest you. I started out as a classics major. I’m now Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry. Of all the courses I took in college and graduate school, the ones that have benefited me the most in my career as a scientist are the courses in classics, art history, sociology, and English literature. These courses didn’t just give me a much better appreciation for my own culture; they taught me how to think, to analyze, and to write clearly. None of my sciences courses did any of that.

(tip o’ the pileus to Bill Caraher for that one)

Elsewhere, Bettany Hughes was giving an interview on the BBC’s Woman’s Hour and made a spirited defense of Classics … an excerpt inter alia:

JM: But how impressed do you think an employer would be, with a kid with
straight-As in Latin, Greek , Ancient History, as opposed to the one
whos done Business, Finance, and I.T.?

BH: The fantastic thing, we have some great statistics, luckily, to back
up our campaign. If you talk to Cambridge University, theyll tell you
that of all their Arts graduates, excluding law students, if you call law
students Arts graduates, classicists are the most highly employable. And
actually, if you go to businesses, across the board, particularly
international businesses, they love a classical degree, because it shows
you can deal with quite complex data, it shows that you have an interest
in the wider world, and it also shows that you have a fundamental interest
in humanity, and increasingly, businesses of all kinds are realising that
thats an absolutely essential skill to have.

… full transcript over at Constantina Katsari’s Love of History blog ..

Headless Statue and Cleopatra’s Tomb Heads Up

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

There are a couple of versions of the same article kicking around my mailbox and also being bounced around assorted sources on Twitter (including my own Exploratorraw autobot). The two I’ve come across so far are both ultimately via ANI and purport to be telling us new info in the search for Cleo’s tomb, specifically at Taposiris Magna. Here are the items in question:

… when I finally was in a position to actually connect with the articles (i.e. not at my school’s wonky connection), it turned out these items were just a repeat of a much-ballyhooed piece from National Geographic back in May of 2010:

… which we have already commented on:

Just sayin’ …