Roman experts head to Newcastle University for conference

THE richness of the North East’s Roman heritage will be on show this month to delegates from 25 countries.

THE richness of the North East’s Roman heritage will be on show this month to delegates from 25 countries.

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A total of 320 archaeologists and historians from nations with Roman frontiers and also as far afield as the United States, South Africa, Australia and Jordan will be at Newcastle University from August 17 to 21.

There will be 180 papers presented at the 21st International Limes Congress.

Limes is the Roman term for frontier and the major event will be returning to Newcastle 60 years after the city hosted the first congress.

In 1949, German archaeologists were invited to the congress as part of the “normalisation” process after the Second World War.

The latest congress is being organised by Tyne Wear Archives and Museums.

Although there will be a special tour of Hadrian’s Wall sites for delegates, the aim is to showcase the many other Roman attractions in the North.

“We will be trying to show people the remarkable richness of Roman sites beyond Hadrian’s Wall,” said Paul Bidwell, congress secretary and head of archaeology at TWAMS.

Excursions will include forts at Risingham and High Rochester in Redesdale in Northumberland, Whitley Castle fort in the South Tyne Valley, Binchester and Piercebridge forts in County Durham, and other Roman bases in the Lake District.

The all-day congress session on Friday, August 21 at the university’s Herschel building, which will examine how Roman frontiers have been conserved and presented to visitors, will be open to the public. Book on 0191 454 4093.

The congress will follow another major Roman event: the Hadrian’s Wall Pilgrimage which starts this Monday, August 10.

It is held every 10 years, and is organised by the Newcastle Society of Antiquaries and its Cumbrian counterpart.

A total of 220 pilgrims will set off from West Cumbria for Wallsend and South Shields Roman forts on Tyneside, stopping at sites where research and work has been carried out over the last decade.

The first pilgrimage was run in 1849 by Newcastle antiquarian, teacher and church minister John Collingwood-Bruce, who wrote the first books on Hadrian’s Wall.

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Page 3 - Marble bust to go on display >>

Marble bust to go on display

A MARBLE bust of the Emperor Hadrian will go on show at a Tyneside Roman fort to tie in with the completion of the Hadrian’s Wall Pilgrimage.

The marble head, from the British Museum, will be on display at Segedunum fort in Wallsend until October 4.

The bust was found at the Villa Adriana, Hadrian’s magnificent country residence near Tivoli, outside Rome.

In 2007 a bronze head of Hadrian, also from the British Museum, was exhibited at the fort and drew 8,000 visitors.

Geoff Woodward, manager of North Tyneside museums said: “We are delighted to be working with the British Museum once more to bring another stunning example of Roman art to the North East.” Hadrian was particularly keen to project a strong military image and in the marble bust he is presented as the commander-in-chief.

First major dig comes to a close


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