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Recent Excavations in Roman Britain

    Naturevolume 140page654 (1937) | Download Citation



    COLONEL C. D. DREW, who is in charge of the excavation of the Roman house-site in Colliton Park, Dorchester (see NATURE, Aug. 21, p. 311), reports the interesting and unusual discovery of the leg of a Roman chair, made of Kimmeridge shale. It was found beneath the damaged floor of the heated room, of which the tessellated pavement, as previously reported, had collapsed. It was found that stonework supporting the floor had sunk where the filling of a pit had proved less compact than the surrounding chalk. The chair leg was found deep down in the filling of the pit, which was of considerable depth. It is richly carved with the head of an open-mouthed animal, and the foot terminates in a lion's claw. It is in an excellent state of preservation, but requires skilled treatment to prevent flaking, before it can be placed on exhibition in the Dorchester Museum. As articles of Roman furniture are of rare occurrence in Britain, the find is of considerable interest. Among other recent finds on this site are thirty bronze coins of the fourth century A.D. from a trial trench. The excavation committee has approached the County Council with the view of securing the preservation of the remains of this Roman house, and the matter is now under the consideration of a sub-committee of the Council.

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