Ancient Roman Discoveries





Hidden history of Rome revealed under world's first cathedral   Heritage Daily - November 27, 2018
Research beneath the Archbasilica of St John Lateran reveals appearance of world’s first cathedral and the remarkable transformations that preceded its construction.




2,000-year-old ruins of a Roman military chief's luxury villa with 14 rooms, marble floors and ornate mosaics are unearthed by subway construction workers in Rome   Daily Mail - March 8, 2018
Sprawling ruins of the 2,000-year-old luxury villa of a Roman military commander have been unearthed during work to expand the Italian capital's subway system. Archaeologists working on Rome's Metro C line uncovered the second century AD residence, or domus, adjoining a military barracks excavated in 2016. The richly decorated dwelling is complete with a well-preserved geometric design mosaic, marble floors and frescoed walls.




Archaeologists uncover rare 2,000-year-old sundial during Roman theatre excavation   PhysOrg - November 8, 2017
A 2,000-year-old intact and inscribed sundial - one of only a handful known to have survived - has been recovered during the excavation of a roofed theatre in the Roman town of Interamna Lirenas, near Monte Cassino, in Italy. Not only has the sundial survived largely undamaged for more than two millennia, but the presence of two Latin texts means researchers from the University of Cambridge have been able to glean precise information about the man who commissioned it.




Lead found in ink used to write scrolls buried by eruption of Mount Vesuvius   PhysOrg - March 22, 2016
For several hundred years, before the dangers of lead were known, lead and other metals were added to ink to aid in color improvement, binding and consistency. But until now, it was believed this practice didn't start until approximately the fourth or fifth centuries AD - prior to then, inks were primarily carbon based. In this new effort, the researchers were studying scrolls that were charred and then covered when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, burying the town, and of course nearby Pompeii as well.




Ancient scrolls give up their secrets   BBC - March 21, 2016
Metallic ink was used to inscribe scrolls regarded as an archaeological wonder, according to scientists. The discovery pushes back the date for the first use of metallic ink by several centuries. The Herculaneum scrolls were buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79 and are charred and fragile. Previous efforts to read them, over many centuries, has damaged or destroyed some of the scrolls. The task of reading the surviving scrolls has fallen to scientists using technology such as the European synchrotron, which produces X-rays 100 billion times brighter than the X-rays used in hospitals. Last year, physicists used the 3D X-ray imaging technique to decipher writing in the scrolls. The scrolls are the only library known to have survived from classical times




Old Money: Rare Roman 'Nero' Coin Unearthed in England   Live Science - June 23, 2014
A rare gold coin from the Roman Empire has been unearthed in England. Archaeologists found the valuable coin, which is embossed with the image of the hated Emperor Nero and dates to between A.D. 64 and 65, at a site in Northern England. The archaeological site, called Vindolanda, was once a Roman fort near Hadrian's Wall.






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