Cool Artefact of the Day: Amber Gladiator Amulet

An amber amulet in the shape of a gladiator helmet.
(Photo credit: Andy Chopping and BBC News)

From the archaeological site found under the new Bloomberg Place under construction in London’s financial district: a very cool amulet of a gladiator helmet made out of amber.

An entire preserved Roman section of the city has been unearthed and now archaeologists are snatching up thousands of artefacts.  Here are some details from a BBC News article:

“Museum of London archaeologists (MOLA), who led the excavation of the site, say it contains the largest collection of small finds ever recovered on a single site in London, covering a period from the AD 40s to the early 5th Century.”

“At 40ft (12m), the site is believed to be one of the deepest archaeological digs in London, and the team have removed 3,500 tonnes of soil in six months”

So awesome.  What’s even cooler is that this must mean huge headaches for those who are trying to get this complex built on time.  However, instead it seems that Michael Bloomberg has taken a more historically-friendly route:

“the temple and finds from the excavation will become part of a public exhibition within Bloomberg’s headquarters.”

A neat part of the article was how the museum was approaching this rescue archaeology:

“The artefacts are to be transported back to the Museum of London to be freeze-dried and preserved by record, as the site will eventually become the entrance to the Waterloo and City line at Bank station.”

Freeze dried?  How cool is that?

Sources: [BBC News] and [Daily Mail] for content. The photo is not my own, but taken by Andy Chopping and found in both the above-mentionned articles.

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Image | This entry was posted in Ancient Rome!, Ancient Times, Current Events, European History, Museum Artefact, New Research and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Cool Artefact of the Day: Amber Gladiator Amulet

  1. itwasjudith says:

    It is interesting to think of the many layers built up since ancient times – apparently those Romans troves are approximately 12 metres under the current ground level… we can “read” history by looking at a section of the ground, similarly to what some scientists are doing when cutting long tubular sections out of deep ice – ‘what was the temperature in site 10,000 years ago?’, ‘what was the atmosphere like?’. Thanks for sharing!

    • I find it so neat that these layers don’t just occur under London, but under almost all of our big cities! There are some ‘prime locations’ that have seen almost constant human occupation. Paris, Athens, Rome, Mexico City, Baghdad, Cairo. It’s amazing that things get buried instead of destroyed in these popular locations!

  2. Gypsy Bev says:

    Archeological digs have always fascinated me. Here in the US, I have observed workers digging in Indian villages as well as finding dinosaur fossils in the mountain sides. We would probably be amazed if we knew what was beneath our feet wherever we live. Thanks for an interesting post.

    • Thanks for the comment! I live downtown and I’m always amazed just how much digging and construction work there is everywhere I look. I can only imagine the layers underneath my own building!

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