Recent excavations of an ancient Roman bathhouse unearthed an amazing collection of 30 intaglios – small, carved gems made from semi-precious stones. The discovery was made at the Hadrian’s Wall bathhouse site in Northumberland, England and is being hailed as one of the most significant archaeological finds of its kind.
This remarkable collection of intaglios includes a wide range of images, from the emperor himself to gods and goddesses of the Roman pantheon. The intricate detail and craftsmanship of the pieces suggest they were made by a highly skilled artist, and researchers believe they may offer insights into the political and religious practices of the period.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the history of intaglios, the significance of the find at Hadrian’s Wall, and the importance of preserving this unique part of our cultural heritage.
What are Intaglios?
Intaglios are miniature carvings made from semi-precious stones, usually jasper, onyx, or carnelian. They often feature a variety of images, from the head of the emperor to gods and goddesses from the Roman pantheon. Intaglios were popular in the ancient world, and archaeologists have uncovered many examples from a wide range of sites across Europe.
In the Roman era, intaglios were typically worn as jewelry, often set in gold or silver. They were also used to decorate personal items such as writing tablets and diptychs. Intaglios were often used as political statements, with the most powerful figures of the time featured on the gemstones.
The History of Hadrian’s Wall
Hadrian’s Wall is one of the most iconic landmarks in Britain, stretching from coast to coast across the north of England. Built by the Romans in 122 AD, the wall was designed to keep out the ‘barbarians’ from the north and to protect Roman Britain from invasion.
The wall was built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, who is thought to have ordered the construction of the wall to protect the northern frontier of his Empire. Hadrian’s Wall was a source of great pride for the Romans, and it remains one of the most significant monuments of the ancient world.
The Excavations at Hadrian’s Wall
In 2019, archaeologists from Newcastle University began excavations at an ancient Roman bathhouse located at the site of Hadrian’s Wall. The team uncovered a wealth of artifacts, including a significant collection of 30 intaglios.
The intaglios were found in a small, sealed room at the bathhouse, and researchers believe they may have been part of a larger collection. The gems are made from a range of semi-precious stones, including jasper and carnelian, and feature a variety of images, from the emperor himself to gods and goddesses of the Roman pantheon.
The Significance of the Find
The discovery of the intaglios at the Hadrian’s Wall site is an exciting and significant find for archaeologists. The gems offer a unique insight into the religious and political beliefs of the Roman period, and are a rare example of the skill and craftsmanship of the time.
The intaglios are also of great historical importance, as they provide a tangible link to one of the most significant Roman landmarks in Britain. The discovery of the intaglios is a reminder of the long and complex history of Hadrian’s Wall, and the importance of preserving our cultural heritage.
Preserving the Roman Intaglios
The 30 intaglios discovered at the Hadrian’s Wall site will now be preserved and studied in detail by archaeologists. The gems will be carefully cleaned and examined in order to gain a better understanding of their significance and to learn more about the history of the period.
The intaglios will be displayed in a museum, where visitors can learn more about the history and craftsmanship of the Roman period. This will help to ensure the gems are preserved for future generations and that their valuable insights into the past are not lost.
The Future of Hadrian’s Wall
The discovery of the intaglios at Hadrian’s Wall is a reminder of the importance of preserving our cultural heritage. Hadrian’s Wall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the recent excavations have provided a fascinating insight into the history of the site.
The discovery of the intaglios also serves to highlight the importance of archaeological research and the need to protect and conserve our past. With the help of archaeologists, we can learn more about the history of Hadrian’s Wall and ensure it is preserved for future generations.
The recent discovery of 30 intaglios at Hadrian’s Wall is a remarkable find, offering a unique insight into the history and culture of the Roman period. The gems are a reminder of the importance of preserving our cultural heritage and the need to protect and conserve our past.
The intaglios will be carefully preserved and studied in detail by archaeologists, and will eventually be displayed in a museum for all to see. This discovery is a valuable addition to our understanding of the past, and a reminder of the importance of preserving our cultural heritage.