It is easy to become cynical about what appear to be numerous new plans for the Antonine Wall especially with the dreaded phrase "five year plan". There is an inevitability to the way that these projects fade away. But councils appear to be getting serious this time. I posted at the beginning of March, for example, about the Antonine Wall app. There was an article in yesterday's Linlithgow Gazette:
New signs, better interpretation – and possibly a national trail along the Antonine Wall – are some of the ideas being proposed by a five-year action plan for the World Heritage Site.
Falkirk Council’s executive also gave the green light to building relationships with staff on Hadrian’s Wall and bidding to attract new external funding into the Scottish site, which dates back to 142AD.
The first Alderney Literary Festival takes place next week. For those who are able to come, I will be speaking about Herculaneum: "Bringing the Dead of Herculaneum to Life," on Saturday, 21 March at 1530.
I will also be speaking the following day, on Sunday, 22 March at 1400 with Tom Holland and Simon Scarrow at a panel discussion called "Blurring the Boundaries: the Problem of Truth in Historical Literature".
The festival promises to be a great deal of fun. I look forward to seeing you there. The programme is attached as a pdf. Download Printed programme 1A
Interesting news from Historic Scotland about the launch, in April 2016, of an Antonine Wall app. It will use augmented reality to help visitors visit the site. The technology draws on the Bavarian museums service, which created an earlier similar app in Germany and which allows visitors to access information on two parts of the Roman frontier in Bavaria.
The Antonine Wall app will draw on 3D laser scanning work carried out by the Scottish Ten Project, along with new scans and interactive 3D models of museum artefacts taken from the Wall, to give visitors a better idea of how points of interest such as the fort at Rough Castle, or the bath house at Bar Hill, would have looked when the Wall operated as a frontier.
Content will be commissioned and developed by Historic Scotland and the five local authorities along the line of the Wall: East Dunbartonshire, Falkirk, Glasgow City, North Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire Councils. The intention is to work with local museums to scan artefacts from the wall in order to create an accurate representation of what life was like, which visitors will be able to experience first-hand.
Roman relations with India are fascinating. I have blogged about it on and off over the years. There is news in a couple of Indian papers today about the discovery of several Roman coins in Vellalore in Coimbatore. There are not too many details of the coins. The silver coin has Jupiter driving a four-horse chariot on one side and Apollo on the other. The other five coins are copper. One of those was issued by King Theodosius II between 402AD and 457AD.
The Times of India report here and the Hindu here.
Just before Christmas I mentioned that I had spent a chunk of the last nine months working with the Scottish Qualifications Authority, best-known for coordinating school exams in Scotland, on its papers for classical studies. At the time I posted the most recent exemplar papers for Higher Classical Studies. The specimen paper for Advanced Higher - the exams that pupils take when they are 17/18 - has just been published. More details on the Advanced Higher Classical Studies page. For those who are interested in the paper itself, it is attached as a pdf.
Those with longer memories will recall late Roman, fifth century hoard found in Rhineland Palatinate that was instantly dubbed the legendary Nibelung treasure. It made the deadlines in February last year (previous posts here and here).
I had been curious what happened to Benny C, the chap accused of looting the treasure. It appears that he was put on probation for 15 months and ordered to pay an EUR3,000 fine to a children's hospice.
The game offers no sympathy to the plight of Rome, its fall is not seen as being tragic in any way. If you’re a very good player you can stem the tide, but by and large to play as the Western Roman Empire is like choosing to attend a wedding as the cake.
News has been rather quiet on the Battle of the Harzhorn front - the battle in AD238 between the Romans under Maximinus Thrax and the Germanic tribes, uncovered in 2008. My last post on the subject was a year ago.
Although the 2014 season was not spent digging, this does not mean that archaeologists under lead archaeologist Petra Lönne were not busy. The Hannoversche Allgemeine has a good update today:
Archäologen haben auf dem römisch-germanischen Schlachtfeld am Harzhorn im Landkreis Northeim erneut wertvolle Schätze geborgen. "Obwohl wir 2014 nicht gegraben, sondern nur oberflächlich gesucht haben, haben wir erneut mehrere Hundert Metallfunde gemacht", sagte Northeims Kreisarchäologin Petra Lönne. Unter den Fundstücken befinden sich Waffen und Waffenteile, Münzen, Teile von Pferdegeschirr und jede Menge Sandalennägel.
Full story can be read here. Another article in Die Welt. My last significant post here.