Roman Bath discovered under cricket pavilion

Remains of a Roman Bath House were uncovered as part of work to move Carlisle Cricket Club’s pavilion, Cumbria, England.

Archaeologist at work at the site (by BBC News)

The pavilion was damaged during Storm Desmond. The site is thought to be about 1600 years old and has already unearthed weapons, pottery and coins in the past. A stone slab was unearthed with an inscription referring to Julia Domna, the wife of the Roman emperor Septimus Severus, who reigned from 193-211 AD, and mother of the Roman emperor Caracalla (211-217 AD). The emperor and his wife were staying in York. The inscription describes Domna as mother of the Most Holy Emperor, the Roman Army, and the Senate.

Excavations at the site (by Stuart Walker)

For decades, historians had puzzled over the likely location of the military bath-house that would have been used by the Ala Petriana, the feared Roman cavalry regiment based at Stanwix. As the site is located close to Hadrian’s Wall it is believed that it belonged to the largest fort on the Wall. Archaeologists also found stacks of terracotta tiles which would have formed part of the under-floor heating system that the baths used.

Roman tile with a mark (by Stuart Walker)

Archaeologists were able to uncover whole rooms, Roman floors, parts of cooking pots, including one with a lion’s head through which sauces would be poured out. According to the researchers the bath-house was a very important part of life for these cavalrymen. It was a meeting place and there would have been a lot of gambling and coins lost.

A terracotta pipe (by Stuart Walker)

(after Stuart Walker, News&Star & BBC News)

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