An archaeological dig near Caernarfon has uncovered evidence of both a Roman construction camp and an early medieval cemetery, recently published analysis reveals. The Roman site is thought to have been a temporary camp set up by soldiers during the initial construction of the nearby Segontium fort, while the cemetery is believed to date to a time shortly after the troops had departed.
‘Roman construction site’ found in Caernarfon
Jane Kenny, a senior archaeologist with the Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, said: “This is a very important site, and it is very exciting when anything as early as this medieval cemetery is discovered. It ties the Roman fort and the medieval town and, as it happens between the two [chronologically], it hints at a settlement and fills in some of the gaps.”
Tudor portraits to be restored at National Portrait Gallery
Three portraits currently on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London are to be restored thanks to funding from US corporation Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Two of the works are of Edward VI, while the other, of Elizabeth I, will be renovated to repair colour distortion caused by yellowing varnish.
Bronze Age boat conservation project begins
Work has begun on a two-year project to preserve eight Bronze Age boats found at Must Farm near Peterborough in 2011. The vessels are being kept in cold storage at the Flag Fen archaeological park, where they will be sprayed with a special wax to stop the timbers from degrading.
Derby archaeologists search for Roman fort
A team of archaeologists has started work digging along the river Derwent in a bid to find the remains of a Roman fort. The project is being carried out before the construction of £35m flood defences in the area in 2015, and experts will continue sharing their findings with local communities in the coming months.
Early human diet ‘changed 3.5 million years ago’
Early humans expanded their diet 3.5 million years ago to include grasses and, possibly, animals, according to new analysis. The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, studied fossilised tooth enamel of 11 species of hominids and other primates found in east Africa, and suggests that they consumed progressively more food types during life on the savannahs of Africa.
National Library of Wales identifies fire-damaged records
Staff at the National Library of Wales have identified some of the documents damaged by a fire at the institution in April. Papers relating to Welsh football and the Wales Green Party, as well as 19th-century chapel records from Carmarthen, were among those destroyed or left irreparable by the fire caused accidentally by workers using a blowtorch.
Previously unknown Robert the Bruce letter uncovered
A copy of a previously unknown letter written by Robert the Bruce in the lead-up to the battle of Bannockburn has been discovered by a professor of Scottish history at Glasgow University. The letter, found in a document that dates from approximately the turn of the 16th century, was sent in 1310 and asks Edward II to stop persecuting the Scottish people.
Image credits: © Cambridge Archaeological Unit (Bronze Age boat)