Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fresh insights from the UK's oldest museum of Roman remains

The remarkable collection of Roman remains in Maryport, started 442 years ago by the local lord of the manor, John Senhouse, has yet again played a revealing part in unravelling the UK's history.

An eight-week season of excavations has closed with the announcement of further substantial finds which are helping to alter the long-held image of the Romans marching home in the early 5th century AD, leaving chaos not far behind.

Chief among them is a large and beautifully engraved alter stone inscribed with the name of T.Attius Tutor, commander of the Maryport garrison in the 2nd century AD and a military man of some consequence; other relics with his name on have been discovered previously in Austria, Hungary and Romania. It joins a cache of 17 altar stones found in the 1870s by Captain Humphrey Senhouse, whose family had maintained (and still maintains today) its enthusiasm for discovering and preserving the Cumbrian town's past.