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Archaeologists search for traces of Elizabethan Manor

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A team of archaeologists from the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) are conducting a project to find traces of Whitecross Manor that stood in the town of Lydney, England.

Whitecross Manor was constructed during the 1570’s for the English mariner and landowner, Admiral Sir William Wyntour. William Wyntour was a sponsor of Sir Francis Drake’s voyages, including Drake’s circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition between 1577 and 1580.

Historical records describe how Whitecross Manor was burnt to the ground in 1645 by Sir John Wyntour to prevent being captured by Parliamentarian forces during the English Civil War (1642 – 1651). A court case from 1597 also describes how a black servant, Edward Swarthe, was whipped in the Great Hall of the Manor before a crowd assembled by a certain John Guy.

The manor was situated at the playing fields of Dean Academy (formerly Whitecross School), where RAU archaeologists led by Professor Mark Horton have been conducting a geophysical studying using ground penetrating radar and a magnetometry survey.

According to an RAU press statement, the team have been mapping the manor’s buried walls and located many of the outbuildings and wells. They are also hoping to find evidence of how the surrounding gardens and walls were fortified during the Civil War.

Professor Horton said: “This site was originally investigated in the 1970s and mid-1980s, as well as briefly in 2003, but many of the early finds were sold or dispersed before the Dean Heritage Centre opened and there are few records of the previous archaeological investigations.

The project, involving students from the RAU’s Cultural Heritage Institute (based at the University of Swindon) is reaching out to the public to find any objects or information related to the manor in the local community. Several items from the manor have been previously sold in auction, including a near complete Elizabethan rapier, and numerous potsherds and pipe fragments.

Professor Mark Horton, said: “We know that many Whitecross School students took part in previous site digs and they may have information and artefacts. We have already met some who were very helpful and had a pipe from the 1660s but we would be really pleased to hear from anyone who has anything connected to this site.”

Header Image Credit : Shutterstock

Sources : Royal Agricultural University (RAU)

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Archaeologists discover traces of Roman circus at Iruña-Veleia

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Archaeologists from ARKIKUS have announced the discovery of a Roman circus at Iruña-Veleia, a former Roman town in Hispania, now located in the province of Álava, Basque Autonomous Community, Spain.

The town was an important transit centre on the Ab Asturica Burdigalam (Roman road), with a peak population of around 10,000 inhabitants.

In a recent study using aerial photography and light detection and ranging (LiDAR), archaeologists have found a Roman circus and previously unknown urban areas of Iruña-Veleia.

A Roman circus was a large open-air venue used mainly for chariot races, although sometimes serving other purposes. Chariot racing was the most popular of many subsidised public entertainments, and was an essential component in several religious festivals.

Image Credit : Shutterstock

Chariot racing declined in significance in the Western Roman Empire following the fall of Rome, with the last known race held at the Circus Maximus in AD 549, organised by the Ostrogothic king, Totila.

According to a press statement by ARKIKUS, the circus is an elongated enclosure that accommodated up to 5,000 spectators, and measures 280 metres long by 72 metres wide.

Until now, only a handful of Roman circus’s are known in the northern half of the Iberian Peninsula, emphasising the importance of Iruña-Veleia during the Roman period.

The study also revealed a Roman street system, evidence of buildings with porticoed areas, and a linear feature indicating the route of the Ab Asturica Burdigalam.

Header Image Credit : ARKIKUS

Sources : ARKIKUS

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeologists make new discoveries at Bodbury Ring hillfort

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Bodbury Ring is a univallate hillfort, strategically located at the southern tip of Bodbury Hill in Shropshire, England.

Hillforts in Britain are known from the Bronze Age, but the main period of hillfort construction occurred during the Celtic Iron Age.

Hillfort fortifications follow the contours of a hill and consist of one or more lines of earthworks or stone ramparts, with stockades or defensive walls, and external ditches.

Archaeologists from Time Team and the Universities of Chester and York, recently conducted a study of Bodbury Ring using light detection and ranging (LiDAR).

Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is a remote sensing technique that employs pulsed laser light to measure distances to the Earth. By analysing variations in the return times and wavelengths of the laser pulses, this method can generate a detailed 3-D digital map of the landscape.

The study has revealed that Bodbury Ring is six times larger than previously thought and is part of a much larger hillfort which enclosed the entirety of the ridgetop on Bodbury Hill. This larger hillfort shares some characteristics with examples known to have originated in the Late Bronze Age.

Professor Ainsworth from Time Team said: “The earthworks of Bodbury Ring, it seems, were constructed to form a small, more easily defended fort at the southern tip of the original hillfort, possibly in the Middle Iron Age.”

“This prehistoric ‘downsizing’ may have resulted from increased tension in the region, reflecting possible changes in the geopolitical landscape of the times. Close by, on the northern side of Bodbury Hill, the remains of a probable Roman Iron Age enclosed settlement have also been identified for the first time,” added Professor Ainsworth.

Header Image Credit : University of Chester

Sources : University of Chester

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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