Tuesday, June 14, 2011

First find in Senhouse Roman Museum dig at Maryport hints at new altar discoveries

Nothing gets the hearts of history fans racing like a good old-fashioned archaeological dig. The surface-scraping going on at Maryport, the Cumbrian site once roamed by the Romans, holds an almost limitless potential for new discoveries.
Days into the dig, Eric Waters – one of the lucky squad from Newcastle University charged with getting their hands dirty in the tantalising terrain – has found the first of them, a carved red sandstone fragment of a Roman altar stone with a small scroll.

“This is my first excavation and I wasn’t sure what I’d found,” says the first-year archaeology student. “But it was obviously not just a stone, it had a definite curved shape.”
Found north of the 17 sacrificial altars the site is best known for yielding more than a century ago, the shard hints that more are on the way.
“The fragment found by Eric is not from one of the altars now in the [Senhouse Roman] museum,” says Professor Ian Haynes, the leader of the investigation. “This may indicate that there are more altars to be found at Maryport.”

More at Culture24