|By Matthew Lobas||
|July 3, 2013 08:00 PM EDT||
An 1,800-year-old carved stone head of what is believed to be a Roman god has been unearthed in an ancient rubbish dump.
Archaeologists made the discovery at Binchester Roman Fort, near Bishop Auckland, in County Durham.
First year Durham University archaeology student Alex Kirton found the artefact, which measures about 20cm by 10cm, in buried late Roman rubbish within what was probably a bath house.
The sandstone head, which dates from the 2nd or 3rd century AD, has been likened to the Celtic deity Antenociticus, thought to have been worshipped as a source of inspiration and intercession in military affairs.
A similar sandstone head, complete with an inscription identifying it as Antenociticus, was found at Benwell, in Newcastle upon Tyne, in 1862.
Dr David Petts, Lecturer in Archaeology at Durham University, said:
“We found the Binchester head close to where a small Roman altar was found two years ago. We think it may have been associated with a small shrine in the bath house and dumped after the building fell out of use, probably in the 4th century AD
“It is probably the head of a Roman god – we can’t be sure of his name, but it does have similarities to the head of Antenociticus found at Benwell in the 19th century.
“We may never know the true identity of this new head, but we are continuing to explore the building from which it came to help us improve our understanding of late Roman life at Binchester and the Roman Empire’s northern frontier in Northern England.
“Antenociticus is one of a number of gods known only from the northern frontier, a region which seems to have had a number of its own deities.
“It's also an excellent insight into the life and beliefs of the civilians living close to the Roman fort. The style is a combination of classical Roman art and more regional Romano-British traditions. It shows the population of the settlement taking classical artistic traditions and making them their own.”
Alex, 19, from Bishop’s Stortford, in Hertfordshire, said:
“As an archaeology student this is one of the best things and most exciting things that could have happened.”
He added: “It was an incredible thing to find in a lump of soil in the middle of nowhere – I've never found anything remotely exciting as this.”
Dr David Mason, Principal Archaeologist with the site’s owner, Durham County Council, said:
“The head is a welcome addition to the collection of sculpture and inscriptions from Binchester. Previous religious dedications from the site feature deities from the classical pantheon of gods and goddesses such as the supreme god Jupiter and those associated with healing and good health such as Aesculapius, Salus and Hygeia.
“This one however appears to represent a local Romano-Celtic god of the type frequently found in the frontier regions of the Empire and probably representing the conflation of a classical deity with its local equivalent. The similarity with the head of Antenociticus is notable, but this could be a deity local to Binchester.”
The Binchester head is African in appearance, but Dr Petts, who is also Associate Director of Durham University’s Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, said experts were unsure whether these features were deliberate or coincidental.
He explained: “This is something we need to consider deeply. If it is an image of an African, it could be extremely important, although this identification is not certain.”
Dr Mason added: “The African style comparison may be misleading as the form is typical of that produced by local craftsmen in the frontier region.”
The find was made as part of a five year project at Binchester Roman Fort which is shedding new light on the twilight years of the Roman Empire.
The Binchester dig is a joint project between Durham University’s Department of Archaeology, site owner Durham County Council, Stanford University’s Archaeology Centre and the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland.
Each summer, undergraduate archaeology students from Durham and the United States are joined by volunteer members of the public to painstakingly reveal more fascinating details from Binchester’s past.
* Visitors attending the Binchester Roman Festival on the weekend of July 13/14 will be able to see the head for themselves, along with other objects found during the current excavations. The Festival features guided tours of the excavations by Dr Mason as well as a programme of re-enactment events including firing of a full-size model of a ballista, a Roman artillery catapult, and demonstrations of ancient riding and fighting skills.
For details, see Binchester Roman Fort.
About Binchester Fort
Binchester – known to the Romans as Vinovia – was established in the later 1st century AD and was once the largest Roman fort in County Durham.
Sited on the main Roman road between the legionary headquarters at York and Hadrian's Wall, it controlled an important crossing point over the River Wear. It was also surrounded by the remains of a substantial settlement which would have housed the civilian population.
The major excavation fieldwork has been underway since 2009 and focuses on a section of the fort interior and a sample area of the nearby civilian settlement.
Previous finds at the site have included the remains of very late Roman activity at the fort, among them evidence for large-scale leather production dating to the very final years of Roman control in Britain in the late 4th and early 5th century AD.
Other evidence discovered at Binchester, including structures and artifacts, might also indicate continued occupation at the site into the early medieval period.
The archaeologists’ work at the site featured on BBC Two’s Digging for Britain in 2011 and on Channel Four’s Time Team in 2008.
About Antenociticus – a “Geordie” Roman god?
A carved stone head depicting Antenociticus was found in 1862 at a temple dedicated to the deity at Benwell, Newcastle upon Tyne. Fragments of a forearm and a lower leg were also found, suggesting that the head may have been part of a life-sized statue
The small temple of Antenociticus stands in the vicus (civilian settlement) outside Benwell (Condercum) Fort, one of 13 permanent forts added to the line of Hadrian’s Wall during its construction.
The temple was built in about AD 178-80, probably to mark the promotion of the Roman cavalry prefect who dedicated one of three altars in the temple to Antenociticus.
It is thought Antenociticus was possibly worshipped as a source of inspiration and intercession in military matters
Antenociticus is not mentioned at any other Romano-British site or on any inscriptions from the Continent, hence his identification as a local deity.
The Benwell head is now on display at Newcastle’s Great North Museum: Hancock.
Monday to Friday 0900 - 1700
Tel +44 (0) 191 334 6075
Email [email protected]
Fax + 44 (0) 191 334 6073
Distributed by http://www.pressat.co.uk/
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at Logz.io, explored the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and provided a hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He examined three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. Asaf Yigal is co-founder and VP of Product at log analytics software company Logz.io. In the past, he was co-founder of social-trading platform Currensee, which...
Nov. 25, 2015 06:45 PM EST Reads: 124
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at Built.io, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application del...
Nov. 25, 2015 05:00 PM EST Reads: 299
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
Nov. 25, 2015 04:15 PM EST Reads: 472
In recent years, at least 40% of companies using cloud applications have experienced data loss. One of the best prevention against cloud data loss is backing up your cloud data. In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sam McIntyre, Partner Enablement Specialist at eFolder, presented how organizations can use eFolder Cloudfinder to automate backups of cloud application data. He also demonstrated how easy it is to search and restore cloud application data using Cloudfinder.
Nov. 25, 2015 03:45 PM EST
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
Nov. 25, 2015 02:45 PM EST Reads: 493
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Nov. 25, 2015 02:30 PM EST Reads: 503
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Y...
Nov. 25, 2015 02:15 PM EST Reads: 424
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Nov. 25, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 350
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, San...
Nov. 25, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 508
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing & protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection & E-Discovery of your data - whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise.
Nov. 25, 2015 01:45 PM EST
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Nov. 25, 2015 01:30 PM EST Reads: 464
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving t...
Nov. 25, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 362
There are over 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content. Join @ThingsExpo conference chair Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040), June 7-9, 2016 in New York City, for three days of intense 'Internet of Things' discussion and focus, including Big Data's indespensable role in IoT, Smart Grids and Industrial Internet of Things, Wearables and Consumer IoT, as well as (new) IoT's use in Vertical Markets.
Nov. 25, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 515
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Nov. 25, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 428
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Nov. 25, 2015 09:45 AM EST Reads: 115