Tuesday January 22, 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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Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May Survives Through Vote Of No-Confidence

If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?

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Theresa May
Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London, Jan. 16, 2019. VOA

British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote in parliament Wednesday, one day after lawmakers voted overwhelmingly against her plan to divorce Britain from the European Union.

Surviving the vote enables May to refocus on getting a Brexit deal through parliament. She has until Monday to offer a new proposal to the House of Commons, but it isn’t clear what she will propose.

Shortly after the 325 to 306 vote allowing May to remain in office, she invited party leaders for Brexit talks Wednesday night.

More talks?

May said before the vote Wednesday that Britain would leave the EU on the March 29 target date, and that the bloc would only consider extending the negotiating period if there were a realistic exit plan.

Aides to the prime minister said she will try to buy more time and return to Brussels to try to cajole EU leaders into a renegotiation.

EU leaders have repeatedly rejected the possibility of renegotiations since the deal was concluded in November, but British officials hope Brussels now may offer enough concessions to secure parliamentary backing on a replayed vote on an amended deal.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labor Party, filed a motion of no confidence in the government immediately after the result Tuesday.

Britain would have held a general election had May lost the vote. Most analysts said they expected her to survive the vote, and the minority Northern Ireland party she relies on to keep her minority government in office had said it would back the government.

Tuesday’s vote was the biggest parliamentary reversal ever handed a sitting government, with lawmakers — including more than 100 rebels from her ruling Conservative Party — refusing to endorse the highly contentious Brexit deal.

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Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labor Party, talks during a no-confidence debate after Parliament rejected Theresa May’s Brexit deal, in London, Jan. 16, 2019. VOA

The government’s defeat plunged into greater disarray Britain’s scheduled March 29 exit from the EU. Major questions remain about how and whether it will happen.

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said Wednesday that after the British parliament’s rejection of a draft agreement detailing the country’s divorce from the EU, the risk of reaching the deadline with no deal in place is higher than ever.

The vote against the agreement was the biggest parliamentary reversal ever handed a sitting government, with lawmakers, including more than 100 rebels from her ruling Conservative party, refusing to endorse the highly contentious Brexit deal.

Just 202 lawmakers backed May’s deal with 432 voting against it. The defeat dwarfed the previous 1924 record when then-Labor Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald lost a vote by 166, triggering the collapse of his government and a general election, which he lost.

After the vote, May said, “The vote tells us nothing” about what the House of Commons would agree to regarding Brexit.

Second referendum

Britain, May
A pro-European demonstrator protests in front of a Leaver campaign board opposite the Houses of Parliament in London, Jan. 15, 2019, ahead of lawmakers’ vote on whether to accept British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal. Later, the plan was soundly defeated. Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29. VOA

The defeat of May’s plan will give further momentum to a burgeoning campaign in the House of Commons, and among Remainers in the country, for a second referendum, according to analysts. Remainers hope a replayed referendum would reverse the Brexit plebiscite of 2016, which Leavers narrowly won.

The vote on the deal — which originally was due in December but was delayed by the government when it became clear there was insufficient backing for it to pass — also leaves hanging in the balance May’s future as prime minister. Her aides maintained at the end of a day of high political drama that she wouldn’t resign.

“She is the person who has to deliver Brexit,” said British Business Minister Claire Perry, who said May didn’t need to resign.

“There will be other attempts at this. There will be strenuous efforts to improve on the deal,” Perry said.

The sheer scale of the defeat throws into doubt whether even a reshaped Brexit Withdrawal Agreement would secure parliamentary approval in the future, even if the EU is prepared to reopen negotiations.

Britain, May
British Business Minister Claire Perry arrives to attend a Cabinet meeting at Downing Street in London, Jan. 15, 2019. VOA

‘Hopelessly optimistic’

“Her Plan B, more of the same, is hopelessly optimistic,” said commentator Isabel Oakeshott.

Also Read: British Lawmakers Rejects Brexit Deal, PM Faces Vote Of No-Confidence

EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted when news of the historic vote broke: “I take note with regret of the outcome of the vote in the House of Commons this evening. I urge the UK to clarify its intentions as soon as possible. Time is almost up.”

EU President Donald Tusk reflected the frustration of many in Brussels, tweeting: “If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?” (VOA)