Maryport Temple, the most Norse temple in the Roman world

Maryport Temple, the most Norse temple in the Roman world

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An archaeological excavation team led by Professor Ian Haynes and Tony Wilmot, has uncovered layers over the past six weeks in order to better understand the environment in which the Maryport altars, internationally famous, were arranged in Roman times.

This is the third year of a five year excavation program commissioned by the Senhouse Museum Trust with the support of Newcastle University and the permission of the Adrian Wall Trust land owners.

The remains of the building adjacent to the Roman fort and civil settlement on the site were discovered in 1880 by local amateur archaeologist Joseph Robinson. This year's excavation has confirmed that the building was a Roman temple from the second century AD. In addition, the information on the location of various stones from a roof helps to get an idea of ​​the construction. It is estimated that the highest part of the building reaches 8.4 meters in height.

Professor Haynes confirms that the first stone building found in 1880 is a rectangular temple with an apse at the southern end. Likewise, groups of columns have been identified at the entrance to the far north. "It is the classical temple that is most located in the northwest of the world”.

Something very similar to a Roman military ditch has also been found under the temple, which indicates the presence of this civilization in an earlier phase«.

Outside the temple, Joseph Robinson found material of comparable relevance to that of the altars discovered by Humphrey Senhouse in 1870 a hundred meters further north. «Thanks to the excavations carried out previously, we know that here the altars were reused in the foundations of a large wooden building, so they were removed from their original situation. Part of the temple project takes place where they were originally located and is something we will look at again when we return next year.”.

The site team includes supervisors Dan Garner and David Maron, community archaeologist Hannah Flint and environmental archaeologist Don O'Meara with a group of expert excavators, working alongside students and volunteers.

Racehl Newman of the Senhouse Trust Museum thanked everyone for their commitment and hard work, especially the volunteers who have spent so much free time digging and guiding the site. He also showed thanks to Adrian's Muro Trust for allowing them to excavate here.

The job isn't done when the excavation team leaves Maryport. In fact, the hard work begins at that point, as all the archived data obtained from the excavation must be studied to understand in detail how the site developed and the individual structures that were built. Findings should be cleaned and preserved, to be studied later, and reports can be written on them«.

Lectures will be held at the Senhouse Roman Museum throughout the year to inform the public and other archaeologists of the discoveries”.

Nigel Mills, director of world heritage and access to the Adrian Trust Wall said the fort and civil settlement at Maryport were a relevant element of the coastal defenses along the western border of the Roman Empire for more than 300 years. They also belong to the World Heritage Site.

When this year's excavation season on the Roman temple project closes, we will be preparing for an excavation to explore the civil settlement adjacent to the fort and the temple area. The Roman Settlement project is due to start in August, as agreed«.

The excavations represent an important step towards establishing a long-term program on archaeological research at Maryport, a key factor in the development of the proposed Roman Maryport heritage, and also a visitor attraction in collaboration with the Adrian Wall Trust and the Senhouse Museum Trust.

The 23 Roman altars that the leaders of the fort of Maryport dedicated to Jupiter and other Roman gods provide information of international importance for the study of the Roman army and its religion. In some cases, the historical careers of the leaders can be deduced from the altars, following their movements through the Roman Empire as they traveled from their military destinations.

Nowadays, the altars are on display in the Senhouse Roman Museum.

I am currently studying Journalism and Audiovisual Communication at the Rey Juan Carlos University, which has made me inclined towards the international section, including the study of languages. For this reason, I do not rule out teaching myself. I also like to practice physical exercise and spend a pleasant time chatting with my acquaintances and with new people. Finally, I enjoy traveling to know the authentic culture of each region of the world, although I admit that before I need to find out as much as possible about the place I'm going to visit, to fully enjoy the experience.

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  1. Christiaan

    the incomparable topic, it's interesting to me :)

  2. Abd Al Rashid

    And it has analogue?

  3. Dimuro

    Fantastic :)

  4. Walbridge

    a very useful question

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