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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Roman temple remains found at Maryport dig

Archaeologists have found the remains of a huge Roman temple during a dig in Maryport.

Roman temple find photo
At work on the dig in Maryport

It is the latest in a long line of discoveries to be unearthed at the site at Camp Farm and those who unearthed it believe it could be the only one of its kind in Britain.

A team from Newcastle University, who are being helped by local volunteers, have been digging on site for the past month, finishing this week.

And it has been another bumper year for the archaeologists, who have also discovered a V-shaped Roman military ditch which would indicate that there had been either a temporary tented camp there or an earlier fort.

Maryport’s Senhouse Museum has the largest single-site collection of Roman alters in Britain. Much of what we know of Roman military religious history has been based on what has been found in Maryport.

Rachel Newman, of the Senhouse Museum Trust, said: “These excavations are giving us a fuller understanding of the Senhouse collection and changing some of our previously-held views.

“The ‘V’ shaped military ditch discovered this year has been very exciting.”

Site director Tony Wilmott said: “The ditch appears to indicate that there was a Roman influence in Maryport from possibly as far back as the early 70AD.”

A second dig will begin next month in the town and will be lead by Lancaster-based Oxford Archaeology North.

Called the Roman Settlement Project, it will examine part of the Roman civilian structures.

Both excavations are on land owned by the Hadrian’s Wall Trust at Camp Farm.

Prof Haynes and Mr Wilmott will give more details of their findings at the Temples Project lecture at the Senhouse Roman Museum today at 7.30pm. Admission is £3.

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