Top 5 Ancient Roman Discoveries from May 2022

5 – A Blacksmith, A Priest, and a Merchant Walk Into a Bar…

About one hundred Christian graves and an ancient Roman commercial center have been discovered during a project to build a new soccer field in Hertfordshire, England. Coins, spearheads, a caltrop, the ruins of buildings, and more have been found so far and all date to the 1st century CE. The cemetery with the hundred graves dates to the 3rd-4th centuries CE, some 200-300 years later. The experts say this is a “once in a lifetime discovery” and that they’re eager to learn more about how this location was used by the ancient Roman military.

[1] – Havis, Michael. “Ancient Romans’ answer to Roadchef? Archaeologists uncover a 2,000-year-old roadside ‘service station’ in Hertfordshire along with hundreds of Roman artefacts and dozens of bodies” (The Daily Mail, 10 May 2022). Accessed 27 May 2022.

4 – Pompeiian Genome Sequenced

Nobody who was killed by Vesuvius in 79 CE has had their genome sequenced, until now. The report of the first person from Pompeii to have their DNA sequenced was recently released in the journal Nature. Scientists believe future studies can be built upon this one to construct a genetic history of Pompeii’s population, a task which has never been done before.

[2] – Scorrano, G., Viva, S., Pinotti, T. et al. Bioarchaeological and palaeogenomic portrait of two Pompeians that died during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Sci Rep 12, 6468 (2022). Accessed 27 May 2022.

[3] – Ferreira, Becky. “Scientists Sequence DNA of Man Who Died In Pompeii Eruption for First Time” (VICE, 26 May, 2022). Accessed 27 May 2022.

3 – Ancient Roman Bust Found at Texas Goodwill

A Texan antiques dealer found and bought a 2000 year old ancient Roman bust from Goodwill for $35. It spent about 3 years in her living room and was named Dennis after the TV show It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Experts believe it was looted from Germany and brought to the US during WW2. It’s now on display in the San Antonio Museum of Art and is scheduled to be sent to Germany next year in 2023.

[4] – Amineddoleh & Associates LLC. “Our Client’s Voluntary Return of Marble Bust to Germany Provides Model for Restitution of Looted Artifacts” (2 May 2022). Accessed 27 May 2022.

2 – Hadrian’s Wall, the Gift that Keeps on Giving

A large engraving of a 1700 year old phallus has been found on Hadrian’s Wall. This is the 13th one of these to be found on this wall but it’s the only one to be accompanied by a public insult against a man named Secundinus, who the author of the willy called a “s***ter”. This find will be a source of entertainment for decades to come and it goes to show that some humans have not changed much over the past 1700 years.

[5] – Best, Shivali. “‘Secundinus, the s***ter’: 1,700-year-old graffiti is found on Hadrian’s Wall featuring a large phallus and an insult aimed at another Roman soldier” (The Daily Mail, 26 May 2022). Accessed 27 May 2022.

1 – Butcher Hits Ancient Roman Jackpot

Over 700 ancient Roman coins were found in Suffolk, England by an Indiana Jones inspired butcher studying satellite imagery. The finds date to a period of roughly 300-400 years, from the 200s BCE to the first century Common Era. They’ve been valued at £65,000, which is a little over $82,000. George Ridgway, the man who discovered them, said this was a childhood dream of his come true.

[6] – Joseph, Claudia. “Raider of the lost coins: Detectorist, 30, inspired by Indiana Jones finds £65,000 Roman hoard after studying satellite imagery near his Suffolk home” (The Daily Mail, 17 May 2022). Accessed 27 May 2022.

One Comment on “Top 5 Ancient Roman Discoveries from May 2022

  1. I can guarantee that not a single Christian artefact will be found at the Hertfordshire site. Bodies buried along an east-west axis is not a Christian practice. It might though be practised by people who worship, say, Sol Invictus.


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