Skip to comments.Mysterious 'Winged' Structure from Ancient Rome Discovered [UK]
Posted on 01/30/2012 4:03:09 AM PST by SunkenCiv
A recently discovered mysterious "winged" structure in England, which in the Roman period may have been used as a temple, presents a puzzle for archaeologists, who say the building has no known parallels.
Built around 1,800 years ago, the structure was discovered in Norfolk, in eastern England, just to the south of the ancient town of Venta Icenorum. The structure has two wings radiating out from a rectangular room that in turn leads to a central room.
"Generally speaking, [during] the Roman Empire people built within a fixed repertoire of architectural forms," said William Bowden, a professor at the University of Nottingham, who reported the find in the most recent edition of the Journal of Roman Archaeology. The investigation was carried out in conjunction with the Norfolk Archaeological and Historical Research Group.
The winged shape of the building appears to be unique in the Roman Empire, with no other example known. "It's very unusual to find a building like this where you have no known parallels for it," Bowden told LiveScience. "What they were trying to achieve by using this design is really very difficult to say."
The building appears to have been part of a complex that includes a villa to the north and at least two other structures to the northeast and northwest. An aerial photograph suggests the existence of an oval or polygonal building with an apse located to the east...
Sometime after the demise of this wing-shaped structure, another building, this one decorated, was built over it. Archaeologists found post holes from it with painted wall plaster inside.
(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...
The Y-shaped Roman structure, discovered in eastern England in the Norfolk area, can be seen in this aerial shot. Nothing like it has been discovered before from the Roman Empire. Sometime later another Roman structure (whose postholes can be seen) was built on top of it. [CREDIT: Michael Page] This diagram shows the Y-shaped Roman building, which dates back around 1,800 years. Sometime later another Roman structure, whose postholes remain, was built on top of it. [CREDIT: William Bowden] The archaeological team inside the postholes from the later Roman building. Decorated wall plaster was excavated from them. [CREDIT: William Bowden]
Another wild story for George Norey.
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"...probably a local structure, likely an asylum built to hold people who constantly dug holes claiming discoveries"
First thing that comes to my mind is a barracks with horse stables...likely temporary, but then what do I know...
Happens all the time.
Awesomeness. I love the stories that the old buildings tell. In this case, so little is left of it, but it says so much.
It’s an ancient alien landing site. Call Colonel O’Niel and Tielk.
Here we go!! Now wtch for the guy with the wild hair on ‘Ancient Aliens’ to flesh out another bizzare scenario about what it is
It looks like an early hospital/nursing home or asylum design. A prison would not have had the open courtyard.
According to commenter Wayne, its a theater, CLEARLY.
Kinda neat. I don’t recall a single Roman structure without square, rectangular or circular features. This is the first parallelogram I’ve seen.
1800 years ago, someone decided to play a trick on the archeologists of the future.
LOL they’re actually performing here in Indy tonight as part of the pre-Superbowl festivities.
“Its an ancient alien landing site. Call Colonel ONiel and Tielk.”
If they find a big rubberband by it, then it was a slingshot that fell over.
Yup! That’s the guy!!
Actually...it’s easy for him to believe in Aliens... because, he IS one!
Perhaps the builders were trying to maximize the villa's exposure to sunlight in those high latitudes. The eastern walls in both wings would be warmed by the morning sun while the western walls would get it in the afternoon.
It's a cool, damp climate, one in which the Romans might have craved sunlight, so unlike the Mediterranean where they would've sought shelter from it.
I was watching HGTV the other day so I know that these were kitchens added-on so that the homeowner could rent out part of the house to help pay his mortgage. Those $40,000 additions seem to increase the house value by $300,000. I’m adding four kitchens to my house.
Hey hey hey, don't be dissing Giorgio now! He's a genius because he can extrapolate ANYTHING into a case for aliens. Nobody like him. LOL
I do like this show actually. I come to it from the point of view of my Christian faith. I think they are on to something, but it's bass ackwards. They totally discount the existence of spiritual beings...big mistake.
I didn’t see any mention of where in Norfolk this is located. I suppose they are trying to keep the location secret until excavation is complete.
That middle picture...doesn’t that look like the footprint left by a Klingon Bird of Prey?
If it was temporary like they surmise, perhaps it was built to capture Boudicca and her army.
If it is near the coast it could have been a gathering place to kick off a campaign inland.
Norfolk has a lot of water, swampy land and farmland and I’m curious if this might be near Yarmouth.
Probably some Roman figured out he could get a grant to build some half baked building he had drawn up. Rome was giving out grants for silly stuff all the time back then. Eventually they raised the debt ceiling one too many times and well, uh ..., you know the rest of the story.
The article indicates that the foundation was insubstantial and the roof was light, probably thatch. That would suggest the possibility of a temporary structure. The site is on a hill above the city. Perhaps to host a ceremony of some kind? The V shape almost suggests a theater.
It resulted in a family tradition of bizarre residences for a long line of inventor-builder descendants, that culminated in the early 20th Century, in America.
Wait a minute. Wasn’t there a discovery that was posted in the last year about an unusual layout of a Roman villa near Ostia (or somewhere on the coast south of Rome) that might have belonged to Marius?
The Romans came up with the hypercaust system, and used it in particular in colder places (such as Britain), so if this lacks it, that might be even more unusual.
Or a inn / hotel, the Roman Empire had tons of those. No big chains though.
I wonder if there are any traces of other nearby structures? In the 1990s (or thereabouts) a Roman-era British town (or village) the name of which has survived was finally found, a completely abandoned site other than having been farmed for 15 centuries or so since.
Actually you are both kinda right. It obviously is an updated version of the Stargate called the Starshot. The structure originally stood upright and had a large rubber band stretched between the uprights. To use the device, one sat in a leather cup at the center point of the rubber band and... Well, you get the picture.
The system was still in testing when a fatal design flaw was found and the project abandoned.
“...who say the building has no known parallels....”
No wonder I did so poorly in geometry. I would have sworn a bunch of those walls are parallel.
Wine Lover's Guide To Ancient BritainAt one Northamptonshire site, the team documented remains of nearly four miles of bedding trenches that they estimate could have supported some 4,000 vines, the fruits of which would have yielded more than 2,600 gallons of wine a year. According to Meadows and Brown, the grapes were grown in the Mediterranean Roman style, that is between parallel sets of poles, a manner that has been described in detail by classical authors such as Pliny the Elder and Columella. Most of the wines the Romans produced were probably fruity, sweet, and brownish in color. The grapes would have been harvested early, before they were fully ripe, around late September. After pressing, large amounts of honey would have been added to the wine for both sweetness and to raise the alcohol content to ten or 12 percent. The wine would then have been placed in amphoras or barrels to ferment for about six months, ready for enjoyment in late winter or early spring.
by Angela M.H. Schuster
Volume 53 Number 2, March/April 2000
:’) Thanks SV.