February 26 2015 Latest news:
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Norwich Castle Museum will host the UK’s largest ever exhibition of Roman artefacts on loan from the British Museum starting 1st February.
‘Roman Empire: People & Power’ aims to explore the story of the powerful Romans, but here are 15 things you might not know about the time.
1. The main town in Roman Norfolk was Venta Icenorum. The capital of the Iceni tribe would have been a bustling market town around 1700 years ago and lies at modern-day Caistor St Edmund around four miles south of Norwich.
2. The Romans put a lot of emphasis into the types of manure used on their land, and blackbird dung was particularly recommended for farmers with cattle and pigs.
3. Romans invented the concept of towns, and the first town in England was Colchester, closely followed by Venta Icenorum which was much smaller.
4. Working from home was particularly popular in Pompeii, where homeowners would build shops into the fronts of their houses as a source of extra income.
5. One kind of moisturiser Romans used to keep their skin silky smooth was a cream made up of crushed broad beans, lupins and wine.
6. In Roman times Great Yarmouth was underwater. In fact, much of East Norfolk was an estuary, with a fort at Caister-on-Sea at one end, and Burgh Castle at the other.
7. Left handed people were considered unlucky and untrustworthy in Ancient Rome. The word ‘sinister’ actually comes for the Latin for ‘left’.
8. You can often tell if you’re near an ancient Roman settlement by looking at the churches. Over the past few hundred years, churches destroyed Roman ruins to use the stone for repairs on their own buildings.
9. It is thought there was a temple to Mercury in Caister. A bronze plaque reading ‘Aurelius Atticianus willingly and deservedly fulfilled his vow to Mercury’ was discovered just outside the fort.
10. Trivia was the Roman goddess of crossroads and magic. She was known as the Queen of Ghosts and was also said to inhabit graveyards.
11. Wealthy Romans had aviaries in their gardens, with popular pet birds including sparrows, blackbirds, ravens and crows.
12. Stinging nettles were said to have been brought over from Ancient Rome as not only a source of food, but also a remedy for hair loss.
13. Dormice were captured, fattened and eaten by the Romans, sometimes stuffed with pork mince or dipped in honey.
14. East Anglia is has an abnormal amount of buried Roman treasure, particularly around the Norfolk border. There have been many famous hauls at sites including Mildenhall in Suffolk and Waternewton in Cambridgeshire.
15. During the Boudican revolt, Colchester was so thoroughly burnt to the ground that to this day archaeologists still find a burnt layer when excavating sites.