Thursday, August 09, 2012

Story of mystery Roman “time capsule” burial goes on show at Corbridge Roman Town

Soldiers from re-enactment group the Ermine Street Guard have used the Corbridge Hoard, which is at the centre of a new English Heritage display, as inspiration for their Roman armour© Andrew Heptinstall Photography

In 1964, a hoard found at Corbridge, in the thick of Hadrian's Wall Country, astonished curators thanks to its well-preserved set of tools, weaponry, wax writing tablets, papyrus and other items essential to the 2nd century Roman soldier.

Almost 50 years on, an interactive display in the Roman Town aims to give the public an entirely new picture of the contents of the iron-bound, leather-covered wooden chest, bringing together the work of Roman specialists still debating precisely why the collection was buried."When the hoard was first discovered, it was like finding a time capsule from the past," says Kevin Booth, a senior curator at site owners English Heritage."It's a stunningly-preserved piece of history which revealed a great deal about our Roman ancestors."Modern-day interpretations of Roman legionary armour and re-enactors have looked to the hoard for inspiration.

"We are very proud of the way we have presented the armour. These are very sensitive and delicate objects and it is hugely important that the new display provides the most protective environment to ensure its survival.   "In a way, though, film showing the excavation of the hoard as it was dug up from the trench back in 1964 is just as exciting."