Follow the Anglesey Road

From the Daily Post:

ARCHEOLOGISTS will follow a buried Roman road in the hope they will find an ancient fort.

The Gwynedd Archaeology Trust completed a major dig at the Tai Cochion site near the village of Brynsiencyn, Anglesey, 18 months ago.

They discovered the site was an important Roman village with the remains of buildings, pottery and coins found.

The Romans reached the site from over the Menai Strait in Gwynedd, where Segontium in Caernarfon was an important fort.

 Now the dig team want to know where the Roman road to the north west of the site leads.

They have tracked the road for around 250 metres and will now use magnetic surveying to try and find where the road ends.

Dave Hopewell, senior archaeologist from the Gwynedd Archaeology Trust, said: “We are convinced that there was another fort on Anglesey that has never been discovered.

“This road could lead us to it.

“We can now use this new equipment to map and follow the road and we now have some funding in place to do this.

“We are excited about where this could lead.”

Anglesey, known as Mona to the Romans, was seen as a major thorn in the side of the Roman invasion of Britain.

The island was a stronghold of the Druids, spiritual and political leaders of the Celtic tribes.

Roman writer Tacitus chronicled the infamous confrontation between the Roman general Suetonius Paulinus and Druids who were said to be a terrible sight in the mid-first century.

A pitched battle was fought on the banks of the Menai Strait, with the Romans breaking the resistance and slaughtering the Druids and their followers.

The Romans later build a fort at Holyhead.

The location of the Tai Cochion settlement together with initial discoveries, suggests the settlement to be a trading post linking Anglesey with the mainland.

Analysis of the pottery shows the site dates from the end of the 1st Century, through to the middle of the 4th Century.

… we mentioned the Tai Cochion dig a couple of years ago: Romans in Wales (third item).

Remains of a Roman Road in Colchester

From the Daily Gazette:

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have unearthed a Roman road beneath a former Colchester pub.

A dig at the site of the Stockwell Arms, in West Stockwell Street, has revealed an unexpected glimpse into our history.

The discovery could mean historians have to revise their drawings of Colchester circa 40AD, after the road was found three metres away from where they thought it would be. The road would have run from north to south, through the ancient settlement of Camulodunum.

It was discovered by the Colchester Archaeological Trust ’s Adam Wightman as he excavated the ground behind the Grade II-listed building ahead of its refurbishment and relaunch as a restaurant and real ale house, called the Stockwell.

Mr Wightman said: “We knew the road would be here, but it has a slightly different alignment than expected.

“The original drawings would have been made after certain discoveries. There could be a number of reasons they were slightly out.

“Now they will have to be altered. The wall is definitely Roman and probably from the later period, but we can’t be more specific.”

The dig has also turned up pottery, plates and a pin believed to be from a piece of Roman jewellery. The artefacts will be placed inside the building when it opens in October.

Philip Crummy, archaeological trust director, said: “It sounds geeky and doesn’t look much, but this is a fundamental piece of archaeology.

“We can trace these roads back to the walls, where there could have been a gate to the town.” Owner Robert Morgan is spending £1million to bring the historic pub back to life. Work started in 2010.

He wants to preserve as much of the historical elements in the building as he can. The archaeological dig is taking place while work continues on an extension at the back of the pub. Mr Morgan said: “It is exciting they have been able to find it.”


Outside of the well-known Circus find from Colchester, there have been quite a few interesting Roman discoveries over the past few years (a selection; I’m sure I’ve missed some):

Roman Road in Thessaloniki

Latest discovery coming as a result of metro construction in Thessaloniki is a Roman road on top of the original Greek one … here’s the salient bits from AP via NPR:

Archaeologists in Greece’s second-largest city have uncovered a 70-meter (230-foot) section of an ancient road built by the Romans that was city’s main travel artery nearly 2,000 years ago.[…]

The excavation site was shown to the public on Monday, when details of the permanent display project were also announced. Several of the large marble paving stones were etched with children’s board games, while others were marked by horse-drawn cart wheels.

Also discovered at the site were remains of tools and lamps, as well as the bases of marble columns.

Viki Tzanakouli, an archaeologist working on the project, told The Associated Press the Roman road was about 1,800 years old, while remains of an older road built by the ancient Greeks 500 years earlier were found underneath it.

“We have found roads on top of each other, revealing the city’s history over the centuries,” Tzanakouli said. “The ancient road, and side roads perpendicular to it appear to closely follow modern roads in the city today.”[…]