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Archaeological dig in UK unearths two Roman carved heads described as 'finds of a lifetime'

Archaeological dig in UK unearths two Roman carved heads described as 'finds of a lifetime'

Members of a community excavation project have spoken out after making an 'exciting and significant' archaeological discovery

Members of a community excavation project have spoken out after making an 'exciting and significant' archaeological discovery.

Earlier this week (Monday, 22 May) a community excavation team began digging at Carlisle Cricket Club in Cumbria, England.

While the new dig is expected to last just over a month, participants have already struck gold - well, not quite gold, but an 'exciting' find to say the least - coming across two Roman carved heads on day two of the excursion.

Now, two Roman carved heads may not initially mean much to most of us, but wait until you realise their significance.

Two Roman carved heads were discovered at an archeological dig in Carlisle.
Cumberland Council

The pair of Roman carved heads mark the 'first sculpture found from the site' according to Wardell Armstrong's Technical Director, Frank Giecco.

Other artefacts found on the site in previous digs, such as gemstones and tiles stamped with the official Roman Imperial stamp, point towards there being exciting connections between the land and a third-century Roman Emperor, Septimus Severus.

The Roman carved heads have been praised as possibly 'the find of a lifetime,' according to Giecco, validating the 'significance of the Bathhouse' and raising 'the site to a whole new level of importance with such monumental sculpture and add[ing] to overall grandeur of the building'.

"The excavation has added further evidence to the importance of Carlisle and its place at one time as the centre of the Roman Empire. More broadly, there has been international interest in the site and finds, making more people aware of the Museum, Carlisle as a Roman centre, and the Hadrian’s Wall world heritage site," the Eventbrite page for the project reads.

The discovery of the two heads was made on the second day of the dig.
Cumberland Council

Anne Quilter, a counsellor at Cumberland Council, said the two Roman carved heads are a 'real coup so early into the dig'.

She continued: "It is a significant find and it is great to hear that they were unearthed by volunteers. Carlisle has a rich Roman history, and this further strengthens the city’s connection to that era. I can’t wait to see what else is found.

"Thanks to all the team involved in the dig, including the hundreds of volunteers that have signed up to lend a hand."


As per Cumberland Council's site, the dig has since been extended for a week, now finishing on 24 June.

"A week later than planned, due to the generosity of local firm R H Irving Construction," it explains. "The local firm donated their support and provided the machinery on site for free resulting in the excavation being expanded allowing even more volunteers to take part."

If you fancy immersing yourself in a bit of UK history or want to try and make history yourself, you can apply to volunteer, or simply watch from afar. The site is open to the public between Monday and Saturday and tours are available from 11.30am and 3:00pm on each of these days too.

Featured Image Credit: Geraldine Moore

Topics: UK News, Science