Monday, June 27, 2011


First year archaeology student Eric Waters from Jarrow, part of the team from Newcastle University excavating at an internationally important Roman site in Maryport, Cumbria, has made the first find - just days into the dig.
The find is a carved red sandstone fragment of a Roman altar stone with a small scroll.  It was discovered during the clearance of the surface soil layers.
Eric, 43, worked at Nissan in Sunderland for 17 years before taking voluntary redundancy two years ago to pursue his interest in archaeology and gaining a place to study at Newcastle University. 
He said: "This is my first excavation and I wasn't sure what I'd found but it was obviously not just a stone, it had a definite curved shape." 
Archaeologists Tony Wilmott, who is directing the site team, and Professor Ian Haynes, who is leading the excavation, checked the fragment with the world famous group of 17 altars found in the same place at Camp Farm in 1870, now on display in the Senhouse Roman Museum next to the site.
Ian Haynes said: "The fragment found by Eric is not from one of the altars now in the museum and it was found to the north of the area where the famous cache of altars was discovered in 1870.
"This may indicate that there are more altars to be found at Maryport."

More at Senhouse Museum