Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Stonehenge 2008 dig day 9 - Roman presence detected. . .

From BBC History.

The dig has revealed lots of large, intersecting bluestone sockets that have been carved into the chalk bedrock at different times. The largest of these dominates the centre of the trench, and was cut in Roman times.

We know it's Roman because of the finds it contained, including a 'House of Constantine' coin, from the 4th century (pictured). The emperor and his laurel are clearly visible; he scrubbed-up well after being spotted in the 'washer' (see Day 8) by sharp-eyed undergraduate Steve Bush.

There was other evidence too. Mark Maltby is a zooarchaeologist, meaning he specialises in the study of old bones. He identified pieces of chicken bone from the socket - the Romans enjoyed chicken then as much as we do today.

From the trench as a whole, a host of animal bones or teeth have been dug up. Mark identified the remains of horse, pig, cattle, duck, rabbit, hare and either sheep or goat (not some strange hybrid, just difficult to tell apart in the field).

Find out much more about the bluestone sockets from Professor Tim Darvill in today's video clip (above). He explains the order in which they were created, and why it may show that bluestone was "celebrated and reused many times over".

Tim has also responded to the lively discussion on the Timewatch message board - feel free to join in and have your say.

Full story and video here. . .

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