Sunday, August 26, 2012


A ROMAN altar dating from the time of the Antonine Emperors in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries AD has been unearthed in pristine condition at the site of a Hadrian's Wall outpost — and incredibly, it is the 18th altar found here, adding to a mystery that has confounded experts for a century and a half.
The stone altar, dedicated to "Jupiter Optimus Maximus" was discovered at the Maryport, Cumbria, archaeological dig — where 17 other stone altars were discovered 142 years ago.

The altar will join 17 others unearthed by landowner Humphrey Senhouse in 1870 which are in the town's Roman museum. The altars were all buried in gigantic pits at regular intervals, to the mystification of experts

The manager of the Senhouse Roman Museum described the altar as "rare and special".

The inscription on the latest altar is in mint condition because the altar was buried face-down. It is a dedication to Jupiter on behalf of Titus Attius Tutor, commander of the First Cohort of Baetasian, which came to Maryport from what is now the Netherlands.