Friday, August 18, 2006

Friday Archaeology Blogging

Well, a couple of things this week. It seems the past month or so has produced a couple of finds that could be filed under the "famous lost sites" category. I'll deal with the most recent one first:

Ancient Welsh city found

Caer Caradoc at Mynydd y Gaer, Glamorgan, is one of the most important locations in all of ancient British history. It is the fabled fortress city of King Caradoc 1, son of Arch, who fought the Romans from 42-51AD.

Caradoc had some success against the Romans, fighting a guerrilla campaign for a number of years before he was betrayed by the queen of a neighbouring tribe, and arrested. Unusually, his life was spared by the emperor Claudius, and by all accounts he lived out his life with his family in Italy. He is sadly overlooked as a historical figure, with most of the credit for opposing the Romans in Britain going to Boudicca, whose revolt happened more than a decade later.


I would point out here that so far, the site has only been identified from aerial photographs, so hopefully they're intending to get in there and dig. Apparently, they're basing the identification of the site as Caradoc's city on toponomy and ancient records, so excavation is going to be necessary to confirm it.

Moving along then, to another "famous" discovery:

Augustus' birthplace believed found
Posted 7/20/2006 5:51 PM ET

ROME (AP) — A team of archaeologists announced Wednesday they have uncovered part of what they believe is the birthplace of Rome's first emperor Augustus.


This one's a bit more dubious. What they've found, in fact, is part of fairly elegant house on the Palatine Hill, in Rome. There is, so far, no evidence whatsoever that Augustus was actually born there; in fact, there is some debate over whether he was born in Rome at all (the other possibility is Velitrae). However, a house on the Palatine that survived the Great Fire of July 19, A.D. 64 and the subsequent rebuilding is in itself an interesting find, whether the future emperor was born there or not.

Lastly, in a bit of follow-up news, in an earlier "Friday Archaeology Blogging", I described the site of a purported pyramid in Bosnia as "unquestionably something, and a pretty damned impressive something at that." Not so, apparently:

Bosnia "Pyramid" Is Not Human-Made, U.K. Expert Says
Sean Markey
for National Geographic News

June 13, 2006
A war of words continues to rage over the alleged discovery of an ancient pyramid in Bosnia.


Speaking at a press conference in Sarajevo, Anthony Harding [President of the European Association of Archaeologists] told reporters the pyramid-shaped hill was a natural phenomenon.

"My opinion and the opinion of my colleagues is what we saw was entirely geological in nature," the AFP news agency quoted him as saying.

So, basically, it's a hill, and I'm an idiot... :)

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