Thursday, December 06, 2007

Roman Artefacts in London Well

Great picture of 4th century AD goblets and tableware, most made of copper alloy. They were found in a wood-lined well at Upper Walbrook Valley in London.

The 19 pieces include "a matching set of three bowls that nest together, buckets that were probably used to water down wine, a cauldron, jugs and a ladle.Despite being 1,700 years old, the swinging handles on some of the artefacts are still in working condition." according to the London Telegraph. The first two pictures were also copied from the Telegraph site.

The treasure is dated mostly by the coins that were found in the well with them.

The assumption is that the poor used wood or ceramics, so this belonged to rich Romans (were Romans the only class with money, then? The article isn't clear).

Why were these objects dumped in a well? Either they were being hidden during dangerous days, with the intention of being retrieved later--or, there was some ritual significance to their deposit in water, which sounds a lot more Celtic than Roman to me.

The well was under the Draper Company Gardens, and was excavated in advance of new construction. The Draper Company has donated them all to the Museum of London, where they've been put on temporary display. it's called (groan) "All's Well that Ends Well."

The last picture is of Museum conservator Nancy Shippey working on the vessels.

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