Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Now archaeologists find a Roman cemetery under a Leicester car park

I used to feel a little sorry for developers in York: whenever they dug a hole to start building something they found a priceless piece of archaeology and were held up for months.

It's getting like that in Leicester now, as the Mercury reports:
The University of Leicester hit the headlines last year when it unearthed the remains of King Richard III which were buried under a city council car park. 
Now, archaeologists from the university have identified 13 sets of remains, thought to date back to about 300AD, at a car park in Oxford Street, near the Magazine. 
The site is believed to be a Roman burial ground and includes a number of personal items, such as rings, hairpins, belt buckles and remains of shoes. 
Project officer John Thomas said the site was significant because the team had found both Christian and Pagan graves. 
"We were surprised by this," he said. "It's quite a juxtaposition of traditions, so it may be that we've found an area of a cemetery where they mixed religious beliefs." 
The cemetery, which held the bodies of men and women of varying ages, lies outside the boundary of the old Roman town, as Christian burials were not permitted inside the walls. 
Among the finds was the skeleton of a young person with a ring with a Christian symbol etched into it.
A reminder that, like York, Leicester was a city in Roman times.


Anonymous said...

Ratae Coritanorum or Ratae Corieltauvorum?

Wikipedia favours the latter name for Roman Leicester.

Does anyone know who whether there is a scholarly consensus on this important matter?

Jonathan Calder said...

I believe the latter is now thought correct.