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Roman Dorchester

Nature volume 142, page 605 (01 October 1938) | Download Citation



ON September 26 the foundation stone of the new Shire Hall in Colliton Park, Dorchester, was laid by Lord Shaftesbury. This building is probably unique in Great Britain in that it is the first to be erected on the site since Roman times, and also because there will stand near by, permanently preserved, one of the residential buildings of the Roman town of Durnovaria, brought to light by the excavations of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society, which were initiated under the direction of Lieut. -Colonel C. D. Drew when attention was directed to the existence of Roman remains at this point by the preparations for building. Further discoveries are still being made. Colonel Drew records the discovery of a fine tessellated pavement of geometrical design. It had been broken in ancient times, and in the fracture was found a delicate Roman balance in bronze, which probably had been used for goldsmith's work. The beam was three inches long only. One of the pans was intact, the other in fragments. The pavement is to be removed to the adjacent Roman dwelling, and the balance has been set up in the Dorchester Museum. Further work in the examination of the neighbouring town wall in the North Walk reveals that on this side there was no stone Wall, such as Was found recently below Colliton Walk. Here an earthen rampart had the natural reinforcements of the river and marshy ground.

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