Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Major archaeological investigation launched on Roman religious site at Hadrian's Wall Maryport

A major archaeological investigation into the mystery of a group of Roman stones found more than 140 years ago has begun on the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site in Cumbria.

The Roman altars, dedicated to the Roman God of Jupiter, were found by local digger Humphrey Senhouse at Camp Farm in 1870, buried under farmland enclosing the Maryport fort and civilian settlement.

Commanders made one stone annually for 17 years as commemorations to their careers across the empire, but their exact purpose remains unknown.

“The Maryport altars have been at the centre of international debate about the nature of religion in the Roman army for decades now,” says Newcastle University’s Professor Ian Haynes, a specialist in the archaeology of the Roman Empire who is renowned for leading excavations on religious sites.

More at Culture24

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