Welcome to the official Blog of the Chester Amphitheatre Project.
posted by Cheryl Quinn at 15:21
The bulk of the work has involved the removal of the remaining deposits associated with the cavea (seating bank) of the first amphitheatre. Due to the really hot and dry weather we’ve been having for the past few weeks this is proving a very arduous task as the clay is baked solid. Very few artefacts have been recovered from this exercise to date.
The area of the site where the footprints have been discovered has been temporarily covered over for short term protection as we are hoping to have the footprints and animal tracks recorded by laser scanning. We are hoping to be able to show you the results from this work on the website later in the summer.
posted by Cheryl Quinn at 10:21
As a part of National Archaeology Day Jason - a member of the Chester Amphitheatre Project team - carried out a very interesting and informative demonstration on the art of flint knapping. Why, you may ask, are we demonstrating flint knapping at a Roman amphitheatre site. Well, we have been finding quite a number of stone tools and it is causing some excitement. So we thought that you might like to see a selection of the flints that have surfaced to date ...
From left to right: A Mesolithic bladelet core; A late Neolithic hollow-based arrow-head with a single barb; A late Neolithic to early Bronze Age thumb nail scraper for preparing animal hides; A Mesolithic piercer for leather working; A late Neolithic to early Bronze Age blade.
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On the south-western edge of the excavation a shallow hollow in the pre-Roman ground surface has been uncovered which may indicate the location of a large underlying feature such as a ditch. This hollow appears to have been wet and muddy shortly before it was covered by construction deposits associated with the building of the first amphitheatre as we have found the impressions of footprints that have been pressed in to the pre-Roman ground surface. So far we have been able to identify several small human footprints which may belong to a child or small adult - apparently walking around the hollow in bare feet. Several of the footprints may be animal tracks but identification will require further excavation. This sort of survival is very rare in the archaeological record and is usually only identified on coastal sites such as the Severn estuary or more locally on the shoreline at Formby. We will be taking plaster casts of the best preserved footprints over the next couple of days.
posted by Cheryl Quinn at 10:21
In glorious sunshine July 2006 saw the return of gladiatorial combat and military displays to the arena. As part of National Archaeology Week the Amphitheatre hosted a fun packed event with a variety of entertaining and educational attractions.
The stars of the day were, undoubtedly, the Deva Victrix Leg XX v.v re-enactment group http://www.romantoursuk.com/deva_victrix.htm who staged several bouts of fierce combat and military prowess in the arena ...
New recruits were enlisted into the (Children's) Roman Army ...
The crowds were particularly impressed by the skills of one raw recruit, Shorticus, who soon had them eating out of the palms of his hands ...
More images from National Archaeology Day to follow, so watch this space ...
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