Date:

Colossal carved heads found at Roman bathhouse near Hadrian’s Wall

Archaeologists conducting excavations at a Roman bathhouse in Carlisle, England, have uncovered two colossal carved heads near Hadrian’s Wall.

The Uncovering Roman Carlisle project has been conducting a community supported excavation at the Carlisle Cricket Club, where the team have been excavating the Roman bath house after its initial discovery in 2017 by archaeologists from Wardell Armstrong.

- Advertisement -

The bath house is located near the Roman fort of Uxelodunum (meaning “high fort”), also known as Petriana, in the Carlisle district of Stanwix.

Uxelodunum was constructed to control the territories west of present-day Carlisle and an important crossing on the River Eden. It was located behind the Hadrianic barrier, with the Wall forming its northern defences and its long axis parallel to the Wall. The fort was garrisoned by the Ala Petriana, a 1,000-strong cavalry unit, whose members were all granted Roman citizenship for valour on the field.

Image Credit : Stuart Walker Photography

Previous excavations of the bath house have revealed several rooms, a hypocaust system, terracotta water pipes, intact floors, painted tiles, fragments of cooking pots, and engraved gems known as intaglios from the late 2nd century or 3rd century AD.

During the latest community led excavations, archaeologists have found two colossal sandstone carved heads (3x the size of a human head) which would have come from sculptures measuring up to 12-15 ft (3.5-4.5m) tall. The carved heads date from around the 2nd century AD which the team believe may depict Roman gods.

- Advertisement -
Image Credit : Stuart Walker Photography

Cumberland Council’s portfolio holder for Vibrant and Healthy Places, Cllr Anne Quilter, said: “This is exciting news and is a real coup so early into the dig. It is a significant find and it is great to hear that they were unearthed by volunteers. Carlisle has a rich Roman history, and this further strengthens the city’s connection to that era. I can’t wait to see what else is found!”

Excavations have also uncovered several tiles stamped with the official Roman Imperial stamp. The IMP stands for Imperator, Latin for Emperor. A stamp such as this indicates a tilery and brick makers who had official imperial approval.

Cumberland Council

Header Image Credit : Stuart Walker Photography 

- Advertisement -
spot_img
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.
spot_img

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Archaeologists reveal hundreds of ancient monuments using LiDAR

A new study published in the journal Antiquity has revealed hundreds of previously unrecorded monuments at Baltinglass in County Wicklow, Ireland.

Archaeologists use revolutionary GPR robot to explore Viking Age site

Archaeologist from NIKU are using a revolutionary new GPR robot to explore a Viking Age site in Norway’s Sandefjord municipality.

Highway construction delayed following Bronze Age discoveries

Excavations in preparation for the S1 Expressway have delayed road construction following the discovery of two Bronze Age settlements.

Archaeologists uncover possible phallus carving at Roman Vindolanda

Excavations at the Roman fort of Vindolanda have uncovered a possible phallus carving near Hadrian’s Wall.

Carbonised Herculaneum papyrus reveals burial place of Plato

An analysis of carbonised papyrus from the Roman town of Herculaneum has revealed the burial place of Plato.

Sealed 18th century glass bottles discovered at George Washington’s Mount Vernon

As part of a $40 million Mansion Revitalisation Project, archaeologists have discovered two sealed 18th century glass bottles at George Washington's Mount Vernon.

Study suggests human occupation in Patagonia prior to the Younger Dryas period

Archaeologists have conducted a study of lithic material from the Pilauco and Los Notros sites in north-western Patagonia, revealing evidence of human occupation in the region prior to the Younger Dryas period.

Fort excavation uncovers Roman sculpture

Archaeologists excavating Stuttgart’s Roman fort have uncovered a statue depicting a Roman god.