Roman Lead-and-Silver Processing Site from Oakenholt

From the Leader:

WORK at a major building development has unearthed evidence of a Roman settlement.

The discovery at Anwyl Construction’s Croes Atti project at Oakenholt, near Flint, includes a well-preserved section of Roman road, pottery, buildings and evidence of an industrial complex processing lead and silver mined at nearby Halkyn Mountain.

Andy Davies, Anwyl Construction technical director, said: “We have experience of finding Roman remains in the past and we had a watching brief on the site.

“We uncovered the Roman remains quite early in the work. We stripped the top soil away and found something straight away and since then we have been working with local archaeologists.

“They believed there were Roman settlements in the area and archaeological work had been done here before but nothing had been found.”

Anwyl, which plans to build more than 180 houses on the first phase of the Croes Atti development, is now helping fund the three-week exploration of the site, along with Cadw.

Will Walker, of Earthworks Archaeology, said: “It’s a fabulous find and it’s on our doorstep.

“We have a remarkably well-preserved Roman road in good condition and the site is throwing up all manner of interesting things including a lot of lead which suggests it was connected with the lead workings on Halkyn Mountain.

“The lead – and silver – would have been processed at this site, converted into lead ingots, known as pigs, and probably transported to Chester by barge and would have been used in the building trade for pipes and roofing.”

Metal detectors have uncovered large quantities of lead and the probable corner of a building has also been found.

Leigh Dodds, principal archaeologist with Earthworks Archaeology, said: “A large building was excavated further down the road back in the 1970s and that may have been the home of the procurator, the Roman official in charge of this settlement.

“But nothing had been found in this area but there is clear evidence of a settlement with buildings either side of the Roman road.

“There has also been high class Samian-ware pottery, probably made in what is now central France but was then the Roman province of Gaul, and even pieces of stone, basically furnace slag with traces of lead which show this was an industrial site processing lead ore.”

Steve Suddick, development engineer for Anwyl, said: “We started work on the site last week, carrying out groundworks and we started uncovering Roman remains within a day or two.

“We are able to carry on with work on another part of the site so the archaeological investigation can go on here as well so we are working well with them.”

According to this page, in the past, brick/tilestamps of the Legio XX Valeria Victrix have been found in the area, although there’s not evidence of a fort …

Seeking a Roman Theatre in Izmir

From Hurriyet:

The İzmir Metropolitan Municipality has started demolitions on appropriated land in order to unearth a Roman theater under shanty houses in the city’s Kadifekale district. The municipality has so far paid 8 million Turkish Liras for the confiscation of the nearly 13,000-square-meter area.

Eight of the 52 houses to be demolished in the first stage have been torn down and archaeologists have already unearthed the walls of the theater, which has a capacity of 16,000 people.

The most detailed information about the ancient theater in Kadifekale is in the research of Austrian architect Otto Berg and archaeologist Otto Walter, who examined the area in 1917 and 1918, though many researchers have concluded that the remains of the theater have features of the Roman period.

When the municipality revives the theater, it can be seen by those visiting the Konak, Akllsancak, Karşıyaka and Bornova neighborhoods of the city. Similar to the excavated Ephesus Ancient Theater, concerts and shows will be organized in the theater as well.

A book on the theater

Writer İlhan Pınar said that after the translation of Berg and Walter’s work, a book about the ancient theater will be published within a month. “The only source [of information on] this theater is their research. Their goal was to excavate the area after the war in 1917. They wanted to show that İzmir was very rich in history and this historical richness should be protected after being revealed,” he said.

Socrates Found Guilty!

Well, this is different … as far as I recall, this is the first time we moderns followed the ancients on this one. The Sun Times seems to have the best coverage … here’s the last half or so:

[...] Former assistant U.S. attorney Patrick Collins again teamed up with Fitzgerald to do battle with Socrates’ equally formidable defense team consisting of former U.S. Attorney Dan K. Webb and personal injury attorney Bob Clifford. All this despite the fact that Socrates actually defended himself.

Fitzgerald argued that history’s view of the original conviction is biased because the only records of the trial are written by Socrates’ student and friend, Plato.

He urged jurors to give the Athenians, “who had the full trial transcripts,” the benefit of the doubt.

Collins mixed Athenian and Chicago lore in his appeal to convict Socrates of creating and worshiping a new God:

“You cannot dis the Gods, the Gods are jealous. The Gods hold a grudge. For God’s sakes even here in America in 1945 a man brings a goat into Wrigley field — there has not been a World Series game in Wrigley since. The God’s have a memory!”

Presiding Judge Richard A. Posner — who sits on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals — equated the charge of corrupting the youth to the modern era charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

“Socrates would teach young men, for over 50 years, things such as virtue, he’d teach them a method of thinking about their lives and the problems they encounter in their lives,” said Webb, who, unlike his fellow attorneys, maintained a serious tone throughout.

“The accusers have told you he taught young people to disrespect democracy … and engage in violence and threaten the democracy of Athens.”

The mock trial was presented by the National Hellenic Museum. A jury of leading politicians, lawyers and media stars joined members of the audience in voting for a verdict and recommended sentence.

After arguments, Posner said he couldn’t give the death sentence to a “70-year-old loudmouth.”

His co-judges also weighed in on the amount Socrates should be fined.

Anna H. Demacopoulos, a Cook County criminal judge, suggested 3,000 silver drachmas.

“I’d fine him two bucks and let it go at that,” said William J. Bauer, who also sits on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

As alluded to above, previous ‘retrials’ in New York and Athens both came down on the side of Socrates (see: Yet Another Retrial of Socrates) … this trial seems to have had a more ‘tongue in cheek’ (for want of a better phrase) aspect to it.

New Online Journal ~ Electryone

From the mailbag:

I am writing, in order to draw your attention to a new electronic journal, dedicated to Classical Studies and the Ancient Mediterranean World. The journal is named “Electryone” and it is hosted by the University of the Aegean, Rhodes, Greece.
You can visit it at http://www.electryone.gr

… it appears that the first issue is scheduled to come out in  July …

Classical Words of the Day

Latinitweets:

This Day in Ancient History: kalendae februariae

kalendae februariae

  • Rites in honour of Juno Sospita: Juno Sospita was originally worshipped in Lanuvium, where she seems to have had started out as a fertility goddess of some sort and evolved into a warrior protectrix of the city. When Lanuvium was granted Roman citizenship in 338 B.C., the cult was also given special status and place under the control of the pontifices, who would annually perform a sacrifice to her. There also seems to have been a ritual whereby blindfolded girls would enter her grove to feed barley cakes to the sacred snakes therein. If the cakes were accepted, the girls were proven to be virgins and the fertility for the upcoming year was guaranteed. Which of these rituals — or perhaps both — took place on this day isn’t clear in my sources.
  • Rites in honour of Elernus: Elernus (or Helernus, or maybe Avernus) is another one of those very ancient Roman deities about which we know little, as can be seen by the variations in name. He appears to have been some type of underworld divinity (perhaps being honoured with the sacrifice of a black ox by the pontifices).
  • 1793 – death of John Lempriere (Classical Dictionary)