P H O T O :
U n i v e r s i t y o f
B r a d f o r d
Above Rachel Cubitt, from the York Archaeological Trust, examines the remains of the brain using an endoscope.
Left The site of the University’s £500 million campus expansion at Heslington East is being excavated by York Archaeological Trust.
Below left York Hospital’s CT scanner was used to produce startlingly clear images of the skull’s contents. Philip Duffey, Consultant Neurologist at the Hospital said: ‘Scanning has shown structures which appear to be unequivocally of brain origin. I think that it will be very important to establish how these structures have survived, whether there are traces of biological material within them’.
to carry out further tests to solve the mystery of why such brains survive death and burial, what this might tell us about Iron Age burial practice and the nature of the burial environment, and, perhaps, something about the individual whose brain it was.
The find is the second major discovery during archaeological investigations on the site. Earlier this year, a team from the University’s Department of Archaeology unearthed the skeleton of a man believed to be one of Britain’s earliest victims of tuberculosis. Radiocarbon dating suggests that the man died in the 4th century AD.
Hadrian’s Wall Heritage to excavate Maryport Roman fort he not-for-profit company that was set up in 2006 to help look after, protect and conserve the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site has acquired 60 hectares (150 acres) of land at Camp Farm in Maryport, Cumbria, as the first step towards excavating the Roman fort and adjacent vicus (the civilian settlement outside the fort walls) that lie beneath the farm. Hadrian’s Wall Heritage Ltd says that the Maryport Roman fort is one of the most significant but least researched sites along the Roman frontier in the north of England. The focus of Roman coastal defences in Cumbria, the fort was surrounded by walls 2m wide and more than 500m long, enclosing an area of 2.6 hectares (6.5 acres). A geophysical survey has confirmed the outline of more than 170 buildings within the adjacent vicus, described as home to more than 500 vicani, and the biggest, most complete and best-preserved civil settlement to be surveyed along the Roman frontier.
Below Senhouse Roman Museum from Camp Farm. Senhouse Roman Museum stands next to Camp Farm with views across the Solway. T
Hadrian’s Wall Heritage Ltd hopes that the site will be open to visitors by 2012. The new museum will be home to the collection of Roman military altar stones and Romano-British religious sculpture currently at Senhouse Roman Museum, which is next to Camp Farm, and which Hadrian’s Wall expert David Breeze describes as ‘one of the most important collections of Roman altars and sculptures from Britain, and indeed the Roman Empire.’ The museum will also have viewing galleries to enable visitors to view the excavation of the site.
The Chief Executive of Hadrian’s Wall Heritage Ltd, Linda Tuttiett (pictured below), said: ‘This important site has the potential to be developed as a world class museum throwing more light on the story of Roman life in Britain and the role of Maryport in the frontier system. The purchase of the site is the first step in an £11.5 million scheme that will bring an additional 50,000 visitors to Maryport every year, spending between £3 and £4 million and supporting up to 120 new jobs in the area. I would also like to thank Harold and Dorothy Messenger, who have owned Camp Farm for the last 60 years. Their interest in seeing this project come to fruition has been very encouraging.’