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Archive for July, 2010

Death of CleopatraI’ll be doing a regular round up of archaeology and history stories that make it into the mainstream press every couple of weeks with links to the original stories. The focus will be on Roman history, but anything that catches my fancy will be fair game. This post features several finds in Britain including a hoard of coins, a controversial skeleton initially thought to be a female gladiator, and the graves of 97 infants; Roman frescoes, canals and looted artifacts; and renewed speculation over Cleopatra’s death. Snakebite or poison?

I don’t know if it’s because the stories are printed in English, Britain has an abundance of archaeologists and amateur treasure hunters, or some other fluke of randomness, but fully half the stories that caught my attention this round up are from Britain. We’ll start with the bones and end with the treasure.

In Caistor (from the Anglo-Saxon ceaster meaning Roman camp or town), archaeologists have discovered a large, well-organized late Roman cemetery. They’ve recovered 46 sets of human remains from the site of the derelict Talbot Inn which is being redeveloped into a Lincolnshire cooperative food store. The remains – including complete skeletons – will be studied and reburied. Colin Palmer-Brown, Director of the Pre-Construction Archaeological Services Ltd team overseeing the site believes there are “hundreds if not thousands of people buried in this part of Caistor.”

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