Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Ancient board game piece unearthed at Lyminge dig

A 7th century board game piece, the first discovery of its kind for 130 years, has been unearthed in Kent by University of Reading archaeologists.

Ancient board game piece unearthed at Lyminge dig
The piece is made from a hollow cylinder of bone and has a central bronze
rivet [Credit: University of Reading]
Researchers believe the hollow bone cylinder found at the Lyminge dig belongs to an early backgammon or draughts-type games set.

It was found in the remains of an Anglo-Saxon royal hall where board games were traditionally very popular.

Project leader Dr Gabor Thomas called it a "wonderfully evocative discovery".

Read the rest of this article...

Gambling of high-living Anglo-Saxons revealed by archaeological find

The Anglo-Saxon gaming piece found in the Kent village of Lyminge.
Photograph: Design and Print Studio/University of Reading
It would have been a very expensive toy, expertly crafted and imported across the Channel – and archaeologists say it provides a glimpse of the luxurious life of Anglo-Saxon nobles in 7th-century Kent.
The little gaming piece is the only one discovered at an Anglo-Saxon habitation site, although many cruder examples have been found in graves. It is the first piece of such quality found since the excavation of a princely grave in Buckinghamshire in the 1880s.
"This piece comes from a high-end – Harrods – backgammon set," the Reading University archaeologist Gabor Thomas said. "Not only high-end but quite possibly Italian – Ferrari – high-end, as the best parallels outside England are from the 6th-century Lombard kingdom. If such pieces are indeed of Lombardic manufacture, then the implication is that the kings of Kent enjoyed the latest fashions in gaming culture, courtesy of their far-reaching continental contacts."
Read the rest of this article...

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Peterborough solar farm: Archaeologists unearth Roman finds

Roman pottery, evidence of a Roman settlement and "possibly Saxon" artefacts have been found at a proposed solar farm site near Peterborough.
The land at Newborough is being excavated ahead of a city council decision about the solar farm plan.
Richard O'Neill, from Wessex Archaeology, described the finds as "locally and regionally significant".
Work is expected to continue for three weeks, after which the council will consider the archaeologists' report.
Plans for the solar energy farm at three council-owned sites at Newborough, Morris Fen and America Farm were put on hold after English Heritage stepped in suggesting the area could be "nationally important".
Read the rest of this article...