Skip to comments.Roman Shops Unearthed Under Corn Hall (UK)
Posted on 03/05/2008 1:20:03 PM PST by blam
Roman shops unearthed under Corn Hall
By Andy Woolfoot
Workers unearthed the remains during renovation work
THE remains of an ancient Roman shopping parade, hidden for centuries under the floorboards of Cirencester's historic Corn Hall have been unearthed this week.
Workers came across the remains of what archaeologists claim is the most significant Roman discovery in the town in the last 50 years while carrying out refurbishment work.
A series of walls were discovered 10 feet below the level of the floorboards in the main room of the 19th Century building along with evidence the site used to house shops over 2,000 years ago.
And alongside the remains evidence of Ermine Street, the famous Roman road which ran from Silchester to Gloucester.
Laurie Coleman of Cotswold Archaeology, project manager for the dig, said it was no surprise to make the discovery in a town with such a rich Roman history.
"There is always the expectation there will be some archaeology but the features that we found were completely new to us.
"The Roman road Ermine Street was just outside the wall and next to a pavement.
"This would have been like a motorway services and a market rolled into one. It would have been quite a grand street to walk up.
This perfume bottle was found intact after 2,000 years under the Corn Hall
"This would have been like a motorway services and a market rolled into one." Project manager Laurie Coleman
Archaeologists excavating the site this week found the remains of a bakery oven with scorch marks, bones from cows, pigs and sheep, a dozen Roman coins, pottery fragments and surprisingly a small, intact, glass, perfume bottle.
"It's pretty rare if you think about the environment," Mr Coleman added. "The fact it survived all these years is quite remarkable really for a relatively large fragment.
However it was not just Roman remains discovered at the site.
A chunk of Medieval romanesque dragon stonework dating from 1140 and believed to have originally been part of Cirencester's Abbey was found.
The renovation work is being carried out by Wildmoor Properties who are redeveloping the Corn Hall and restoring a link to the adjacent King's Head Hotel, which the company also owns.
The work was expected to be finished by next spring but will be delayed by the excavation.
The objects uncovered in the dig will be split between Wildmoor Properties and the Corinium Museum.
Do you know what my Roman ancestors drank? They drank wine. Do you know where they got it? The grew their own grapes in Cornwall. But you can’t grow them there anymore because it’s too cold. What would you blame that on?
One of the problems with owning property in Europe, is that you can’t dig a latrine without paying a team of archiologists to observe.
And if they find a little glass perfume bottle, you are scr$wed.
Cool! Thanks for sharing.
You can grow grapes in England. We have vineyards, even red grapes.
It’s the vinyards in Greenland during the Medieval Warm Period which really make your point.
How very cool!!
I’m surprised that no one has yet christened the archaeological site “The Corn Hole”.
Global warming, of course.
Dman those ancient Romans with their internal combustion engines!
Sorry, couldn't resist.
When it came to revitalize did they cart in enough fill to cover everything up and then start over? Very strange to my way of understanding how that could happen.
My only guess would be a total absence of anyone doing anything in an entire city for eons and nature doing the rest.
It would be interesting to see what the content of the fill material is. That’s really a fascinating observation on your part.
I read somewhere that earthworms turn over the soil and gradually cause foundations, etc. to sink over the centuries.
I think I read that in a book on Roman ruins. So maybe that’s it.
Earth worms! And all along I thought it must somehow have been the fault of one of George Bush’s ancestors.
There's a very good program on the History Channel titled: Cities Of The Underworld . Some of these shows are fascinating.
There are cases where volcanic eruptions have buried entire cities but this has been nearly instantaneous. I still can’t figure out other cases except for blowing sands in the desert or jungle overgrowth in the tropics - either of which take centuries and would presuppose human abandonment altogether. Oops - I forgot that I did see one clip on tv about what appeared to be a beautiful city street in the Congo which was being totally overgrown with vegetation. Seems the Congolese didn’t give a rats ass about keeping anything working including the traffic lights after the Belgians left.
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