Archaeology breakthrough as huge 2,000-year-old Roman Army stash found

Italy: Roman-era shipwreck discovered by Arpa

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The artifacts were found on the island of Menorca, which once formed part of the Roman Empire. Experts unearthed an ancient warehouse at the Son Catlar site, containing a variety of Roman weapons and surgical instruments.

They had been working around two fortified doors to the Talayotic settlement, which were discovered in 2019.

Researchers from the universities of Munica, Alicante, Cadiz and Granada, along with the Ciutadella Museum, conducted the excavation.

Fernando Prados, an expert in archaeology from the University of Alicante, described the finds as “outstanding”.

He noted that, whilst there have been similar finds before, it is unusual for them to be in such good condition.

The academic suggested the reason for this “might be the protective magical character attributed to it by the Romans in their defence against evil spirits when sealing the doors”.

In a statement the University of Alicante emphasised the importance of gates in Roman culture.

They said: “This type of blinded door was characteristic of Punic culture, and was used as a defence system to protect itself from possible sieges.

“The Romans gave a sacred value to the gates of cities, and sealing one definitely entailed certain actions of a magical nature.

“The excavation of the gate and the neighbouring street has uncovered a warehouse with a large number of typical objects that Roman soldiers carried: weapons, knives, three arrowheads, spearheads, projectiles, surgical tools such as a bronze spatula-probe.”

Menorca was conquered by the Carthaginian Empire in 252 BC.

After Carthage was defeated by Rome in the three Punic Wars, fought between 264 and 146BC, the island fell into the hands of pirates.

These raiders preyed on Roman shipping across the western Mediterranean.

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In response the Romans launched a full invasion in 123BC, led by Quintus Caecilius Metellus.

Later, the island was fully incorporated into the Roman Empire.

Around 427 it was conquered by the Vandals, before being re-captured by the Eastern Roman, or Byzantine, Empire.

British forces occupied the island in 1708, and it remained under London’s control until 1802 when it was voluntarily returned to Spain.

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Separately, in Italy archaeologists have discovered a rare boundary stone, once used to mark the borders of ancient Rome.

Dating to 49AD, it was placed when emperor Claudius redrew the city’s outer layout.

The slab, made from limestone, is just one of 11 that have been uncovered to this day.

In its time the Roman Empire was one of the most powerful, and best organised, states in the world.

It was formed in 27 BC, from the Roman republic, by Caesar Augustus.

The Empire later split in two, with the western half being destroyed in 476AD.

The Byzantine Empire lasted longer, finally falling to Ottoman attack in 1453.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega
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