Roman Era Finds from Southwark

SE1 seems to be the only outlet reporting on finds dating to Roman times (inter alia) found during construction of the London Bridge Station. Here are the Roman details:

“We started with geotechnical works – test pits and boreholes – under the station and along with our historical study that gave us an idea of the character of finds we might expect to encounter,” said Chris Place.

[…] “These are mainly post-medieval and later – but there are Roman and medieval remains closer to the Joiner Street part of the site. The main medieval remains might be along Bermondsey Street and along the Tooley Street frontage.

“We’re now digging a series of pits in the area under the railway arches in advance of the main construction works.”

It is in one of these pits – just yards from passageways used by thousands of commuters each day – where the team has discovered the remains of one of the earliest buildings in Roman Southwark. Dendrochronological analysis shows that the 17 timber piles were made from trees felled between AD 59 and AD 83.

“London Bridge Station is a very big area and it’s effectively been sealed for the last 150 years so no-one has had a chance to look at it, ” Chris told us.

“We’ve never really known exactly how the eastern edge of the Roman settlement is formed.

“It just so happens that our pit alongside Joiner Street came down on these piles which appear to be the foundations of perhaps a substantial building.

“Although it’s a very small pit and we haven’t looked at the details fully yet, it has certainly given us an insight into the eastern edge of the Roman settlement that has really been quite a blank for us up until now.”

The works at London Bridge, when taken together with the findings of excavations along the route of the Borough Viaduct – where a Roman bath house was discovered – and on neighbouring sites such as The Place, are helping to build up a much clearer picture of Roman Southwark. […]

Kind of impressive (it seems) how quickly they dendrochronologically dated these things … Some previous finds from Southwark:

Crowdsourcing Heritage?

Italy Magazine tells us of a contest:

The Italian government and the town of Pompeii have launched an international competition in an effort to develop the town’s tourism attractions.

Called ‘99 Ideas Call for Pompeii’, the competition is being promoted by the Minister for Territorial Cohesion Fabrizio Barca, the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Affairs Lorenzo Ornaghi and the Municipality of Pompeii. Its goal is to develop Pompeii by building on its two major attractions: the archaeological site and Shrine of the Virgin of the Rosary of Pompeii dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary that has become a point of pilgrimage. Competition entrants are requested to submit proposals on realising the potential of the two attractions and their possible synergies with other local assets with the aim of rendering the town more attractive, welcoming and visible, and increasing the competitiveness of the local tourism and heritage industry.

Proposals can cover various themes including how to extend visitors’ stay by identifying additional attractions, promoting initiatives concerning attractions; developing local traditions such as handicrafts, improving the level of quality of service and infrastructure for visitors, developing the adjacent areas and providing services to the two major attractions, and promoting initiatives to secure the participation of citizens in the governance process and planning of projects. […]

The website is here, should you wish to contribute ideas: Concorso per Pompei. Not sure if they’ve upgraded the washroom facilities yet … that would definitely be a place to start.

Classical Words of the Day


This Day in Ancient History:

kalendae martiae

  • This was originally the beginning of the New Year for the ancient Romans (and the consuls would probably enter office on this date prior to 153 B.C.)
  • Festival of Mars, which included a procession of the Salian priests around the city singing their mysterious Carmen Saliare
  • “birthday” of the temple of Juno Lucina
  • Matronalia — a sort of ‘unofficial’ festival during which it was customary for hubbies to pray for the ongoing health of their spouses and give them presents; for their part, the wives apparently served the slaves (sort of like Saturnalia and Mother’s Day rolled into one)
  • 293 A.D. — Co-emperor Maximian adopts Constantius, who is given the title Caesar (and it is possible that Diocletian similarly adopted and conferred a similar title upon Galerius)
  • 2005 — birth of our dog, named by the rogueclassicist as Tyche, but misheard by the liberi as Tyke …