A carved stone head that it is thought could be that of a Roman god has been discovered by an archaeology student at Binchester Roman Fort in County Durham. The artefact, which is believed to date from the 2nd or 3rd century AD, was found during a dig to explore an old bath house on the site.
Dr David Petts, lecturer in archaeology at Durham University, said: “We found the Binchester head close to where a small Roman altar was found two years ago. We think it may have been associated with a small shrine in the bath house and dumped after the building fell out of use, probably in the 4th century AD. It is probably the head of a Roman god — we can’t be sure of his name, but it does have similarities to the head of [local god] Antenociticus found at Benwell in the 10th century.”
‘Saxon skeleton’ discovered at Lincoln Castle
A skeleton that it is thought could be that of a Saxon king or bishop has been found in a limestone sarcophagus beneath Lincoln Castle. Although the coffin has not yet been opened, an endoscopy has revealed that the remains were interred along with a number of artefacts.
Richard III site to be excavated for second time
The car park where the remains of Richard III were discovered in Leicester is to be re-excavated in a new dig this month. The project, again organised by archaeologists from the University of Leicester, will exhume a 600-year-old stone coffin to an effort to learn more about the king’s burial site, the Church of the Greyfriars.
Ancient pyramid ‘destroyed by developers’
An ancient pyramid has reportedly been destroyed by developers working near the Peruvian capital of Lima. The structure, one of 12 pyramids found at El Paraiso, was believed to have been 6 metres high and to have been built at least 4,000 years ago.
‘Roman shrine’ found at Rutland Water reserve
Archaeologists working at Rutland Water nature reserve in the East Midlands have uncovered a Roman shrine and the remains of an Iron Age farmstead on the site. The circular stone shrine is thought to date from around AD 100, and the team also found pottery jars, a small bronze figurine and more than 200 Roman coins.
Governor to review female bank note representation
The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, is to review the representation of female historical figures on the country’s bank notes as a result of complaints about a lack of diversity. The discussions, set to take place next week, follow news that the appearance of Winston Churchill on the £5 note from 2016 will mean no women other than the Queen feature on the currency.
Rapper Jay-Z displays album artwork in Salisbury Cathedral
The rapper Jay-Z has installed artwork for his new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, next to the 1215 Magna Carta in Salisbury Cathedral. Commenting on the decision of the musician — whose real name is Shawn Carter — the Dean of Salisbury, June Osborne, said: “Jay-Z is creating a huge awareness of this historic document and its modern significance to a huge audience. We hope to welcome many of his fans here this summer to see the artwork”.
Image credits: © British Museum (Ice Age artefact); Wilkinson/Aitken University of Dundee (Mary, Queen of Scots)