Excavation at Senhouse Roman Museum

2015 Excavation & Summer Events

The Roman Temples Project, Maryport

The excavation will be open to the public 15 June to 14 August 

In 2013 the Roman Temples Project unearthed the north-westernmost classical temple known from the Roman world.  Our work enabled us to reconstruct the appearance of this building, with its red sandstone walls, yellow sandstone decoration and grey slate roof, and columned entrance.  The 2014 season allowed the team to complete their investigation of the building, including the section of collapsed wall recovered at its southern end.

The main focus of the 2015 season will be to explore the area between the temples and the post holes where the altars were discovered in 1870. This will be the final excavation season of the current project.

Investigation of both areas forms part of Senhouse Roman Museum/Newcastle University’s research agenda for Maryport.  The site’s famous altars have long been understood to be an especially important source of material for Roman cult practice.  The project aims to determine the original context of these altars and in so doing to learn about the wider setting of ritual practices on Rome’s northern frontier.  In order to achieve this aim, the team will be scrutinizing not only the temple and the circular building nearby, but also the setting of these two elements within the wider landscape.  Geophysical survey results suggest that these buildings may have been enclosed by a ditched enclosure and this feature will be further sampled during the 2014 season

Excavation volunteers

The Senhouse Roman Museum and the team from the University of Newcastle are very keen that the local community has a real opportunity to participate. To this end there will be up to 21 placements for volunteer excavators and further placements for finds and data processing. For further details or to reserve your volunteer place contact senhousemuseum@aol.com

The excavation is a collaboration between the Senhouse Museum Trust and Newcastle University.

Visiting the excavation

Museum volunteers will be leading tours to the excavation on weekday afternoons at 2pm and 3.30pm. The tour is included in the Museum admission and adds about one hour to your visit.

School groups

The Museum learning team has developed a whole day of activities for local schools to engage with the excavation and Museum. Using hands-on activities and the Museum's collection pupils will discover how archaeology helps us to understand our past. Please contact the Museum to discuss a visit. 

Group visits

Groups can book a special visit to the excavation either within normal Museum opening times or an evening visit. Group rates: Adult - £3.50, Child - £1.00 for a group of ten or more when booked in advance.

Events programme 

Monday 15 June, 7.30pm: The archaeobotany of Roman Maryport in context

A public lecture by Don O'Meara (Environmental archaeology specialist). £4.00

 Tuesday 16 June, 7.30pm: Introduction to the Temple excavation

A public lecture by Professor Ian Haynes (Project Director) and Tony Wilmott (Site Director). £4.00

 

Monday 29 June, 7.30pm: An introduction to fish and bird skeletons in archaeology

A hands-on workshop with Don O'Meara. £4.00 (places limited, booking essential)
 

Tuesday 30 June, 7.30pm: Temple excavation interim lecture

Get the latest news on progress from Professor Ian Haynes and Tony Wilmott. £4.00

 

Tuesday 7 July, 7.30pm: Temple excavation interim lecture

Get the latest news on progress from Professor Ian Haynes and Tony Wilmott. £4.00
 

Monday 20 July, 7.30pm: The zooarchaeology of disease: investigating animal health through bones

A hands-on workshop with Don O'Meara. £4.00 (places limited, booking essential)

 

Tuesday 21 July, 7.30pm: Temple excavation interim lecture

Get the latest news on progress from Professor Ian Haynes and Tony Wilmott. £4.00
 

Saturday 8 August, 11am - 5pm: Roman Festival

Meet your ancestors, both Romans and locals. Museum admission applies
 

Sunday 9 August, 11am - 5pm: Roman Festival

Excavation open day and meet Roman craftspeople. Museum admission applies

 

Monday 10 August, 7.30pm: Investigating animal burials

A hands-on workshop with Don O'Meara. £4.00 (places limited, booking essential)
 

Thursday 13 August, 7.30pm: Final Temple excavation lecture

With Professor Ian Haynes and Tony Wilmott. £4.00