Archaeologists unearth Roman-style dining utensils in London

December 7th, 2007 - 6:45 pm ICT by admin  

London, December 7 (ANI): Archaeologists have unearthed more than 1,100 objects in London, which they say date from the first to third centuries AD.

The finds include wine buckets, bowls, and dishes with an elegant beaded design, and the archaeologists describe them as unprecedented in size and scale.

It is believed that the finds will give dramatic new insight into Londinium, the Roman city.

Chris Jarrett, an archaeologist with Pre-Construct Archaeology who made the discovery, said: Its my best find in 20 years of digging.

According to the archaeologists, the objects include the most complete timber door to have survived anywhere in the Roman Empire, shiny metal vessels in an exceptional state of preservation, and the large-scale remains of an entire Roman streetscape.

Most of the objects unearthed are made of copper alloy, and would have graced the dining table of a wealthy household, they say.

What is amazing about the find is that even organic materials like wood and leather have survived, while most of the metal is barely corroded.

The archaeologists have also revealed that some of the objects have swing handles that remain articulated after nearly 1,700 years.

The hoard, unearthed at Drapers Gardens, in Throgmorton Avenue near Moorgate, has been revealed by the Museum of London.

These finds are amazing. I just couldnt stop grinning when I first saw them. In size and scale they are simply unprecedented. Nothing like this has ever been found in London before, or anywhere else in Britain, Times Online quoted its curator Jenny Hall as saying.

She said that the sites waterlogged conditions ensured that the organic content, such as wood and leather, survived.

Metalwork too survives well in these conditions rather than corroding away and the good survival of these base metal vessels makes them much rarer than silver or gold tableware of the period, thus making this find one of both national and international importance. You can imagine them in someones kitchen or dining-room, gracing the table with food and drink, she added.

While the 19 metal vessels that emerged from the bottom of a wood-lined well look like fine household objects, it is possible that the hoard might have had religious uses.

The archaeologists also believe that the objects might have been hidden by Roman Londoners fleeing tribes from Scotland, Ireland and Germany who were converging on Londinium.

These astonishingly well-preserved artefacts offer a rare glimpse into the last days of Londinium, Hall said.

Also among the finds are the floors and wall foundations of wooden buildings with timber pipes linked to roadside drains, a remarkably well-preserved timber-planked floor that is thought to be unknown for Roman London, a bear skull perhaps from an animal that performed in the nearby amphitheatre, and a wooden carpenters ruler marked in Roman inches.

The Museum of London will displaying some of the finds on a temporary exhibition that runs until January 27. (ANI)

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