Rare Roman woodcarving found in England

The ‘incredible’ carved wood figure is believed to date back to early Roman times and was found in a waterlogged abyss in Buckinghamshire in southeastern England. This is the latest discovery during the largest campaign of preventive archeological excavations ever organized in the United Kingdom, which is within the framework of the construction of the railway connecting London to Birmingham at the end of the decade.

67 cm tall and carved from a piece of wood, which reaches to the middle of the thigh and probably reaches a tunic, representing a dressed figure. The male or female can wear a hat or embellish the hair and show well-defined legs even if they are damaged below the calves.

Archeology is rare

According to the first estimate made from its style, it dates from the beginning of the Roman period in the English territory. AD It seems to have been confirmed by pottery fragments found in the same trench between 43 and 70 AD. It may have been an offering to the gods, while other pieces of wood may have been used. Perhaps she was not roughly thrown into the abyss: she may have been deliberately placed there.

Loans: HS2 / PA

Wooden pieces from the Roman period are rare, and in English territory, for almost four centuries (43 to 410 AD), it was the province of the empire named “Brittany”. This organic matter is actually very poor, especially in humid environments such as the English mainland. Therefore, the invention of antique wood material will always be exceptional. In this case, the sculpture benefited from a lack of oxygen in the abyss: it helped to stop the rotting of the artifact, such as underwater debris, for centuries.

“This is a truly remarkable discovery that brings our past face to face. The quality of the carving is exquisite and the figure is very excited as the organic materials of this period rarely survive.”, Jim Williams, Principal Scientific Consultant, Nearby Historical England Defender. The image to be analyzed soon must be radio-dated with carbon 14 from one of its fragments separated from the image.

HS2 line, a “treasure box”

Started work on the HS2 line from 2018 – it will run the train “Very fast in Europe“(360 km / h at commercial speed) from 2029 to 2033 at present – a number of extraordinary discoveries have been made by the teams responsible for ensuring that the site remains undamaged, with more than 1,000 archaeologists working on at least 60 separate sites along the line.

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According to experts, this is a unique opportunity to excavate a large part of the territory that covers more than 10,000 years of history. Like France, theArchaeological research in the UK is a legal requirement for major land development projects. And even While such infrastructure projects have always been at risk of damaging part of a heritage that has been hidden underground for centuries and thousands of years, they are often the only way to fund excavations in otherwise unaccounted for areas.

Roman city and Renaissance gardens

In the case of HS2, precautions were taken before the first hoe attack: The The path was first mapped by laser scanning and geophysical studies were carried out to prepare the excavation. Discoveries from the Iron Age to the Victorian era include three Roman statues of an abandoned medieval church in Buckinghamshire, tens of thousands of skeletons in various tombs, 16th-century gardens in Warwickshire, or an ancient railway roundhouse. World in Birmingham.

Three Roman statues. Loans: HS2 / PA

But of course, the most impressive discovery, announced a few days agoA wealthy Roman trading city, its people adorned themselves with jewelry and used soft pottery on a daily basis. Buried beneath a secluded Northamptonshire field, it still contains a 10 meter wide road, domestic and industrial buildings, more than 300 coins and at least four wells. For more than a year, less than 80 archaeologists have been working there.

While most of the excavated remains will end up in museums, others will not enjoy this fate. This is the case with this famous road, which is immovable and under the pressure of machines designed to change rocks and soil, leaving space occupied for many years on a different path, this time exponentially. As we say Helen Vaz, Traditional Manager for HS2, quoted Defender : “Archeology is a two-edged sword. If construction did not happen we would not do archeology. Without one there can be no other.”

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