Tuesday 16th October 2012
A set of 159 gold coins dating from the end of the 4th century AD has been discovered by a metal detectorist on private land in the district of St Albans. Experts believe that the soldi, which were spread over a large area due to possible disturbance by later ploughing or quarrying, were created in the Italian cities of Milan and Ravenna.
The fact that the coins date to the final years of Roman rule in Britain makes them of particular value to historians, as very few comparable gold hoards have been uncovered.
New English Heritage project aims to catalogue 'at risk' buildings
A new project to identify some of the thousands of Grade II listed buildings in England has been launched by English Heritage. The scheme, which aims to fund up to 15 pilot surveys of historic properties nominated by local authorities or community groups as being in danger from neglect, decay or alterations, was launched alongside the annual Heritage at Risk Register, recording the state of heritage sites around the country.
Bressingham Saxon skeleton given Christian burial
The remains of a Saxon man discovered in the Norfolk town of Bressingham have been reburied in a Christian ceremony. Tests on the skeleton, which was unearthed following the demolition of a pub destroyed in a fire in 2009, revealed that it was a middle-aged man alive in approximately AD 665. The remains were reburied in the churchyard of St John the Baptist, close to the original burial site, following the service.
Cold War missile sites given listed status
Two nuclear missle sites have gained 'listed' status to mark the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis. The former RAF sites, in Harrington in Northamptonshire and North Luffenham in Rutland, were put on alert as tensions between the US and Cuba increased in October 1962. Sixty Thor missiles were installed at 20 sites around the east of England from 1958, and the listing is part of an project to preserve similar structures that date from the period.
Mantel awarded second Man Booker prize
Hilary Mantel has been awarded the £50,000 Man Booker Prize for her historical novel Bring Up the Bodies. The award for the sequel to Wolf Hall, which also won the prize in 2009, makes Mantel the first living British author to receive the title twice. Focusing on the life of Thomas Cromwell, the book charts the downfall of Anne Boleyn and is set to be followed by a third instalment, The Mirror and the Light.
Rare Chinese Revolution pictures go on display
A set of rare photographs capturing China at the time of the Cultural Revolution is available to view in London for the first time. The images, which are on display at the Everything was Moving exhibition at the Barbican, depict life in the country between 1966 and 1976 and were taken by Li Zhensheng (pictured), a newspaper reporter in the north-eastern province of Heilongjiang. Li's job meant that he was able to document some of the human rights abuses caused by attempts to enforce communism in the country, in which millions of people are thought to have been persecuted.
Man sues Venezuelan government over Bolivar artefacts
A man from Florida has sued the Venezuelan government over the ownership of artefacts that belonged to Simon Bolivar. The lawsuit alleges that the items, which include documents, letters and a lock of hair used to determine the cause of the military leader's death in 1830, were borrowed from Ricardo Devengoechea in 2007 and never returned. Bolivar's efforts to free South America from Spanish rule have made him a highly influential figure in the region, and he is particularly revered by Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez.
Image credits: St Albans City & District Council (coin hoard); English Heritage (Cold War missile); The Barbican (China images)