Sunday July 21, 2019

Archaeologists discover 2,000 year-old Roman handwritten documents in London

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A 2000 year old Roman handwritten document. Image source: AFP/Getty images
  • Archaeologist in london discovers 2000 year old documents and tablets
  • The oldest handwritten document ever found in Britain is dated  to A.D. 43-53
  • It seems so far 87 have been deciphered out of 400 including the first written reference to the city London dated A.D 65 -80

This year in 2016, Archaeologists based in London on Wednesday, May 1 discovered hundreds of wooden writing from the Roman London. Along with the hundreds of tablets, many documents were also found which included the oldest handwritten document ever found in Britain and was dated to A.D. 43-53. The inception of the document can be dated back to almost 2,000 years old.

This discovery of over 400 tablets and documents was done by the by the Museum of London Archaeology and the tablets were unearthed in London’s financial district during excavation work for a new building.

It seems so far 87 have been deciphered out of 400, including the oldest written document can be dated back to A.D 43-53, the early years of roman rule. Along with these, the first written reference to the city (London), which the Romans called Londinium dated A.D 65-80 was also deciphered.

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“It’s the first generation of Londoners speaking to us,” said Sophie Jackson, an archaeologist working on the site. She also said that the find was “hugely significant.”

Archaeologists say the tablets were preserved by the absence of oxygen in the wet mud of what is now one of London’s many buried rivers. Image source:Mola
Archaeologists say the tablets were preserved by the absence of oxygen in the wet mud of what is now one of London’s many buried rivers. Image source:Mola

The London was found by the Romans after their invasion of Britain in A.D 43 but the rebellion led by the Queen Boudica in A.D 61 destroyed the Roman settlement.

The documents found showed that the city was quickly rebuilt and after few years it became a thriving city of merchants and traders. The records show early references to beer brewing, beer delivery, food delivery, and legal system.

The Guardian reported, there is one reference to a beer brewer, “Tertius the brewer is almost certainly Domitius Tertius Bracearius, who is also known from a writing tablet found at Carlisle — and so by about AD85 had a business stretching the length of the new Roman territory. Only the outer flap of the tablet survives, addressed to him.”

These wooden tablets survived till now because of the wet mud of the walbrook, which was then a river but now a buried stream. Oxygen is main reason for the decay in most cases but the wet mud blocked oxygen from reaching the wood and protected them from decay said Jackon, an archaeologist at the site.

Tablets of Roman era were covered by the beeswax, in which then words could be written with use of stylus. The wax is long gone but the marks left by stylus on the wood are still present.

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Looking at the ancient handwriting was “fun” said Roger Tomlin, who deciphered the inscriptions.

“You’re thinking your way into the hand of someone else who lived 1,900 years ago, and your eyes are setting foot where man has never been before, at least not for a very long time.” said Tomlin.

-prepared by Bhaskar Raghavendran, a reporter at NewsGram. Twitter: bhaskar_ragha

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Small UK Village Celebrates Centenary of Its Part in Aviation History

On its outward journey in 1919, the 193-meter-long R34 airship flew from Scotland to New York

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UK, Village, Aviation History
Pulham in Norfolk became the return point in the first ever return flight across the Atlantic Ocean by an airship. Pixabay

A village in the UK with a population of less than 1,000 was marking on Saturday the centenary of its part in aviation history.

Pulham in Norfolk became the return point in the first ever return flight across the Atlantic Ocean by an airship, the Xinhua news agency reported.

On its outward journey in 1919, the 193-meter-long R34 airship flew from Scotland to New York, but on the return leg it unexpectedly redirected to Pulham where its arrival was greeted by thousands of people. It became the first airship that made the East-West crossing of the Atlantic by air.

Sheila Moss King, who has organised the centenary event, said the arrival of the airship on July 13, 1919 had earned Pulham its place in aviation history.

UK, Village, Aviation History
A village in the UK with a population of less than 1,000 was marking on Saturday the centenary of its part in aviation history. Pixabay

The crew’s 75-hour return flight to Britain was a little less eventful than the 108-hour outbound journey from East Lothian in Scotland to Long Island, she said.

“They weren’t sure if they were on the right course and they flew through the most terrible storms with the airship tipping up and down,” Moss King noted.

A band struck up the song “See the Conquering Hero Comes” as the crowd gave the crew a heroes welcome in Norfolk and got an absolute drenching when the water used as ballast was released.

“It was in the news, it was on the radio – people all around the world would have heard of Pulham,” she said, adding it took 500 people to land the airship.

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Records show that in New York the crew was showered with gifts and were greeted by US President Woodrow Wilson.

There was even an offer of $1,000 for the airship’s cat, named Wopsie, but it was turned down, and the cat returned to England.

Descendants of the airship crew and airfield workers gathered in the village on Saturday at the start of a two-day centenary celebration. In the nearby town of Diss, an R34 memorabilia exhibition has opened.

The outline of the airship has also been marked close to where it landed a century ago. (IANS)