Kerameikos: archaic stele

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Archaic stele, Kerameikos Museum © David Gill

This stele of a male with a stick and a sword was found in the Kerameikos cemetery at Athens. The two parts were found in 1935, and in 1937/38. It probably dates to the mid-6th century BC, and is considered to be one of the earliest Attic examples (Richter, no. 23; Knigge, fig. 24). It was associated with a mound on the west side of the Sacred Way. The stele may have been placed over the shaft grave that was found in the mound (Knigge, p. 105 under no. 15).

The stele appears to have had a sphinx mounted at the top.

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Mound to the west of the Sacred Way, Kerameikos © David Gill

Guidebooks to Orford Castle

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1964 (2nd impress. 1975)

Orford Castle was placed in the care of the Ministry of Works in 1962. The first guidebook was prepared by R. Allen Brown (1964) with a second impression in 1975. This followed the standard format to the ‘blue’ guides with history and description. The foldout plan at the back provided a section through the castle, and six plans of the different floors.

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1964 (1982; English Heritage 1988; repr. 1975)

This became the English Heritage guidebook. The plans and section were incorporated in the text.

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1988

A combined guidebook with Framlingham Castle followed. This was prepared by Derek Renn (1988). This contained colour illustrations and plans. It followed the format of a tour followed by a history of the castles.

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2003 (rev. 2011; repr. 2013)

The present guidebook is by John Rhodes (2003). It contains a tour of the castle followed by a history.

London: monument to Claudia Martina

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Monument to Claudia Martina, Museum of London © David Gill

The hexagonal base of the funerary monument to Claudia Martina was found in 1806 on the site of the London Coffee House on Ludgate Hill (RIB 21). This implies that it came from the cemetery to the west of the Roman settlement of Londinium. There is a dowel hole on the top, perhaps for mounting a statue. The find included a lifesize female head, perhaps to be associated with this monument.

The inscription gives the age of Claudia Martina as 19. The monument was erected by her husband, Anencletus, ‘the slave of the province’.

The monument features in Anthony Birley, The People of Roman Britain (London, 1979), 145, and pl. Birley suggests that Anencletus was associated with the council , concilium provinciae, associated with imperial worship in the province. He reminds us that Claudia Martina was freeborn.

The inscription was published by Charles Roach Smith, Illustrations of Roman London (1859), 23 [online].

Grime’s Graves: Canon Greenwell’s Pit to open

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Canon Greenwell’s Pit, Grime’s Graves © David Gill

English Heritage has announced that it will opening up Canon Greenwell’s Pit at Grime’s Graves. A short video is available from the BBC (“Neolithic flint mine to open to public for the first time“, BBC News 11 March 2017). Access will be by guided tour. Pit 1 will continue to be open.

Canon William Greenwell (1820-1918) excavated at Grime’s Graves in 1868, following earlier work at the flint mines at Cissbury in Sussex.

Londinium: tombstone of Vivius Marcianus

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Vivius Marcianus, London © David Gill

The tombstone of Vivius Marcianus was found during the rebuilding of St Martin’s Church on Ludgate Hill in 1669 (RIB 17). (The church itself had been destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666.) The gravestone was then placed in the Ashmolean Museum (that opened in 1683); it is now displayed in the Museum of London (since 1974). It is likely that this came from the cemetery outside (and to the west) of Ludgate.

Vivius Marcianus is described as a centurion of the II Augustan Legion. He is shown in the relief holding the centurion’s stick, vitis, in his right hand. The legion was based at Caerleon in south Wales. There is a possibility that he was attached to the staff of the governor.

The monument was set up by Januaria Martina, his wife.

The hunters of Banna

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Inscription, Birdoswald © David Gill

An inscription found at Birdoswald in 1821 is now displayed in the small site museum (RIB 1905). It had previously been displayed in the undercroft at nearby Lanercost Priory (and where it features in Charles M. Daniels, Handbook to the Roman Wall 13th ed.).

The altar was dedicated to the ‘holy god’ Silvanus, and the dedicators were the venatores or hunters of Banna. Banna is almost certainly Birdoswald, and is a name also known from the Rudge cup found at Froxfield in Wiltshire (for the replica, now in the British Museum) that shows some of the forts along Hadrian’s Wall.

It has been suggested that the inscription should be dated to the 3rd century (supported by David Breeze in his Handbook to the Roman Wall).

Miletos: the bouleuterion

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Bouleuterion, Miletos © David Gill

The bouleuterion at Miletos lies behind a small open courtyard. Access to the seating was via two stairways. The capacity seems to have been four approximately 1500 citizens. It was originally roofer with four internal supporting columns.

A dedicatory inscription shows that it was a benefaction of king Antiochos Epiphanes, and therefore dated to the late 170s or early 160s BC.