Monday, August 16, 2021

Dig discovery hints that Leicester people were fed to the lions by Romans, say archaeologists

The Leicester Mercury wins Headline of the Day and the story beneath is worth reading too:

An archaeological dig in Leicester city centre may have found evidence people were once thrown to the lions by their Roman overlords. ...

A newly published paper by archaeologists concludes that a bronze key handle showing a man and a group of naked youths being savaged may suggest it actually happened here in Leicester - or Ratae Corieltauvorum as it was known - during the city's time as a prominent Roman town.

The discovery - at the site of a former Roman townhouse - was made by University of Leicester Archaeological Service in 2017 ahead of the building of the new Novotel on the inner ring road.

Dr Gavin Speed, who led the excavations at a site off Great Central Street, described the moment the find was made.

He said: “When first found, it appeared as an indistinguishable bronze object, but after we carefully cleaned off the soil remarkably we revealed several small faces looking back at us, it was absolutely astounding.

“Nothing quite like this has been discovered anywhere in the Roman Empire before.”

The key handle will be put on display at Leicester's Jewry Wall Museum when it reopens in 2023.

I visited the Great Central Street dig in 2017 and my photo shows spectators awaiting the next appearance of the lions members of the public studying the excavations.


Phil Beesley said...

Lion bones?

Jonathan Calder said...

If we can find Richard III we can find a few lion bones.