Roman Ring and Gemstone Find

This just in:

A GOLD ring and a gemstone found in a field near Upton Grey date back to Roman times, an inquest in Basingstoke heard.

The ring dates back to the third century, and the gemstone from the first or second century. They were found on January 18 last year by Martin Barker, a plumber and amateur treasure hunter from Middlesex, using a metal detector.

Sarah Whitby, deputy coroner for North East Hampshire, ruled at an inquest into the find, held at the Civic Offices, that the items were treasure.

They will now be valued by experts at the British Museum and are thought to be worth a few hundred pounds.

Ralph Jackson, curator at the British Museum’s department of prehistory and Europe, prepared a report for the inquest having studied the items.

The inquest was told he believes the carnelian gemstone bears a picture of a maenad – a female worshipper of Dionysus – the ancient Greek god of wine.

The gemstone would probably have sat inside the ring, which had a gold content of around 94 to 97 per cent, and the ring may have been part of a larger ornamental brooch, the inquest heard.

Angus Janaway, who owns the land on which the treasure was found, attended the inquest. He told The Gazette: “I have known Martin for a long time and this could be the find of a life time. When I first saw it, it was covered in mud so I did not know what it was.”

After valuation, the ring will be offered for sale to the Hampshire Museums Service. The money will then be shared between the Crown, Mr Barker and Mr Janaway.

Rob Webley, Finds Liaison Officer for the Hampshire Museums Service, said the items could together be worth around £300 to £500.

He said: “It’s a special piece and it is something that the museum service would hope to acquire. I would hope that it would go on display at the Willis Museum in Basingstoke.”

via Gems find from Roman times | Basingstoke Gazette.

A Roman Chariot on the A24!

The incipit of a piece describing a discovery I’m very surprised we haven’t heard more about (this seems to be the only coverage!) … during highway construction, a number of burials — one of which apparently includes a Roman chariot — has been found near the Centocelle airport:

Un eccezionale ritrovamento archeologico è venuto alla luce nelle settimane scorse durante i lavori della complanare alla A-24 nel quartiere di La Rustica. Una biga romana, diversi siti funerari con tanto di monumenti, suppellettili e scheletri di cui uno probabilmente appartenente ad un nobile, poiché accanto è stato ritrovato uno scettro.

… not much detail after that, alas …

via Una biga romana sull’A24 – Abitare a Roma.

Snow Closes Sites in Rome

Chiusi per l’abbondante nevicata tutti i siti archeologici di Roma: Colosseo e area centrale dei Fori Imperiali, Foro Romano e Palatino, così come le Terme di Caracalla, le tombe sulla via Latina, fino all’Appia Antica con la Villa dei Quintili: “Abbiamo chiuso tutti i monumenti all’aperto in via preventiva – dichiara il soprintendente archeologico Angelo Bottini – prima che qualcuno possa farsi male. L’abbondante nevicata ha reso i percorsi molto scivolosi e rischiosi, così per l’incolumità pubblica abbiamo preferito chiudere in base alle segnalazioni dei rispettivi direttori delle aree. Ma la neve non ha creato nessun danno strutturale ai monumenti – continua Bottini – In base alle condizioni meteorologiche decideremo quando riaprirli. Se la neve smette, entro domani riapriremo”. Rimangono aperte nel frattempo tutte le sedi museali.


Here’s a photo from a slideshow in the Guardian:

from the Guardian

More: Snow in Rome | Guardian

CONF: Ontario Aegean Archaeology Day – Sat March 6th 2010 – Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto

Seen on Aegeanet (please send any responses to the folks mentioned in the quoted text, not to rogueclassicism!):


The Archaeology Centre (University of Toronto) and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) present a full day of lectures by nine archaeologists from Ontario universities, each presenting an illustrated lecture on the results of his/her recent field work in the Aegean.

Sponsored by the Hellenic Republic and the Greek Communities of Canada

Saturday March 6th 2010, 10:30-5:00
Signy and Cléophée Eaton Theatre
FREE entrance with ROM membership or Museum admission