December 1st, 2017
Archaeologists encounter remains associated with Emperor Nero. (Photo: Dr. Kevin White, University of Reading).
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Archaeologists have discovered in the remains of the Roman city Calleva Atrebatum in today's England structures of a temple and tiles with the name of the Emperor Nero. According to the scientists, these traces point to a construction project that the infamous ruler in this provincial town has imitated to impress his subjects in Britain.

Calleva Atrebatum is an ancient site with a long tradition in British archeology. Already from 1890 to 1909, large parts of the Roman settlement were excavated, which had not been built on since antiquity. The remains are now located near the village of Silchester about 60 kilometers west of London. Calleva Atrebatum had typical Roman city buildings: a forum, themes, temples, stately houses and a theater. The site is still the focus of British archaeologists: Currently, a team from the University of Reading carries out further investigations in the former city area. The researchers discovered the latest findings by analyzing the ground using radar and subsequent excavations.

So far, the remains of two temples in Calleva Atrebatum were already known - now comes a third added. He stood like the other two on the grounds of a stately building called Insula XXX. The foundations indicate that the newly discovered temple was up to 15 meters high and had basic dimensions of 15 by 17.5 meters. As in the case of the other two temples, the sanctuary consisted of a central shrine (Cella) surrounded by a walkway. The religious purpose of the temple remains unclear.

Stamped with the name Nero

However, from what time the plant comes, was clear by the provided with the famous name Beifunde. These are four tile fragments stamped Nero from inside the temple. Accordingly, it dates from the 50s or 60s of the first century AD - the short reign of the infamous ruler. Apparently, all three temples are from this period - as the similarities in the layout of the facilities point out, say the archaeologists.

As they continue to report, the Nero tiles found in the third temple also match three previously discovered specimens. They come from the remains of a kiln in the area, which apparently was the place of manufacture of this building material. Another ceramic fragment from the Nero period was also discovered in the public baths in the southeast of the Roman city. The bottom line is that the buildings could have been part of a Nero-sponsored construction project in Calleva Atrebatum: "It's evidence that Nero built extravagant buildings here, like in Rome, to impress his subjects in Britain, " says Mike Fulford of the University of Reading. display

The archaeologists now hope to discover even more pieces of the puzzle, which can give an insight into the mysterious connection of Emperor Nero with Calleva Atrebatum. Further excavations are planned in the summer of 2018.

Source: University of Reading http://www.reading.ac.uk/

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