Archaeologists have found a nearly 4,000-year-old ritual site in the United Kingdom. There are artifacts from both the Bronze Age and the Roman period at the site.
The discovery was made near the village of Overstone, about 8 km northeast of Northampton, by archaeologists from the Museum of London Archeology.
Archaeologists stated that the oldest find in the site is a mound from the Bronze Age. Although five burial urns were found in the mound, which is thought to have been built between the 21st century BC and the 15th century BC, no human remains were found. Archaeologist and project officer Simon Markus from the Museum of London Archeology said the mound may have had a symbolic use.
The excavation team also stated that they discovered the foundations of a Roman structure at the site. It is not known exactly what year the building was built. However, considering the dates when Britain was ruled by the Roman Empire, it can be said that the structure was built between AD 43 and AD 410 for now. This means that the ritual site in question may have been used by people for about 2000 years.
Part of the British territory was conquered by the Roman emperor Claudius in 43 AD. After that year, the south of British territory was counted as a province of the Roman Empire for about 367 years. At the beginning of the 5th century AD, Roman domination on the island weakened. Many historians consider the end of Roman rule in Britain when the Roman emperor Honorius gave a negative response to the British community who asked for his help in 410.
The researchers are not sure what the Roman structure was used for. However, considering the mound and a nearby spring, they think that the structure may be a kind of shrine. Archaeologists had previously discovered a Roman shrine near the lagoons in Rutland, about 50 km north of Northampton.1
While many Roman coins and a bronze figurine were found in the shrine discovered in Rutland, such a find has not yet been found in the shrine in Overstone.
Archaeologists also stated that they found cones, willow tree blossoms and walnut shells at the bottom of large water tanks they discovered in the site.
Officials from the Museum of London Archeology said that the excavations will continue in the coming days. In this direction, detailed information about the structure and the site is expected to be shared with the public in the future.
- “Roman Shrine Uncovered in Nature Reserve“, Archaeology Magazine, July 1, 2013