Ex­eter Ro­man ex­ca­va­tions ex­cite­ment

Timeless Travels Magazine - - ARCHAEOLOG­ICAL NEWS -

Ex­ca­va­tions in the cen­tre of Ex­eter, Eng­land, have un­cov­ered re­mains of a large Ro­man town­house un­der­neath, dat­ing to the 2nd – 4th cen­turies. Although par­tially dis­turbed by the con­crete foun­da­tions of the for­mer Quin­tana Gate build­ings, its out­line can still be seen, in­clud­ing re­mains of stack­ing tiles from a hypocaust (un­der­floor heat­ing sys­tem), nu­mer­ous pieces of tesserae from for­mer mo­saic floors and frag­ments of painted wall plas­ter from finely dec­o­rated walls.

Arte­facts re­cov­ered from the re­mains associated with the town­house hint at the wealth and op­u­lence of the in­hab­i­tants, in­clud­ing the finest im­ported pot­tery from Europe and the Mediter­ranean, ves­sel glass, part of a clay fig­urine, a cloak-clasp and a finely-dec­o­rated bracelet for a child. Large quan­ti­ties of an­i­mal bone and shell sug­gest a var­ied diet of cat­tle, sheep, pig, oys­ter, mus­sels, dormice and sur­pris­ingly sea urchins. Nu­mer­ous coins found span a pe­riod of around 400 years, in­clud­ing one of the Em­peror Nero, who was em­peror while the le­gion was present and dur­ing the re­volt by Boudicca. There is also a coin of Constantin­e, the first Chris­tian Em­peror.

Alex Far­nell, who is lead­ing the ex­ca­va­tion for AC ar­chae­ol­ogy said ‘’This is largest ex­ca­va­tion in cen­tral Ex­eter since the Princessha­y re­de­vel­op­ment over 10 years ago. There is sur­pris­ingly very good preser­va­tion and some of the arte­facts we are find­ing show what a wealthy Ro­man town­house we have got in a city al­ways con­sid­ered to be on the fringes of the Ro­man Em­pire. I am also very ex­cited about the Ro­man mil­i­tary ar­chae­ol­ogy we have found, which shows what an im­pact the Ro­man army must have had on the na­tive lo­cal pop­u­la­tion’’.

Coin of Em­peror Nero

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