Scientists use Roman glass to aid storage of nuclear material

Incredible, but it’s true. Roman glass that survived more than 1800 years on the seabed is being studied to help make sure that modern storage facilities for nuclear material will be fail-safe. Read about it here. Imagine the thoughts of the manufacturer of that glass if he were to hear what was being done with it now!

There’s also an interesting article about the dedication of Roman arms and weapons in water as a religious ritual here. Having visited the Roman baths in Bath again recently, I was amazed by the not only the number of votive objects that have been trawled from the pool there, but the size of them. The largest item I can think of was a lead ingot or ‘pig’ from the nearby Mendip mines. Not just large and very heavy, but very valuable. Someone a long time ago was extremely worried about an upcoming enterprise, or extremely grateful that something had gone their way!

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  1. John Salter
    Posted 12 September 2011 at 09:09 | Permalink

    Interesting stuff Ben, I’ve just got back from Turkey (literally) and visited every Roman site I could find on the southern coast including Side, Perge and Aspendos, once I’ve had some sleep I’ll try and dig my camera downloading doodar thingy out and send you some pics. It’s a great place for Roman archaeology.

    The weathers a bit different back home though eh? I’ve gone from late 30 degrees (43 on Aspendos day) to winter! What’s going on!

  2. benkane
    Posted 12 September 2011 at 10:18 | Permalink

    @John: nice place to holiday – and forget the miserable weather here. No idea why it’s so gloomy, but it is. It feels as if autumn is here to stay. No Indian summer so far. Pants.

    Your trip sounds excellent – I hope you had a great time? I’d love to see some pics, please. I’ll send you another email address as this one gets very clogged up with big files. Thanks!

  3. John Salter
    Posted 12 September 2011 at 21:32 | Permalink

    Ben, yes Turkey is a good place for Roman archaeology and well worth a visit. The temperatures had me wondering how they managed to build some of the structures, I imagine they didn’t do them in summer and used slave labour.

  4. benkane
    Posted 13 September 2011 at 10:37 | Permalink

    @John: I don’t imagine that they worried about summer heat. So what if a few slaves die of heat stroke? The reason I say this is that there are states in the Middle East where it is against the law for men to work outside if it’s more than 50C. Oddly, the official temperature never rises above 48/49C, and it is common (according to a good friend of mine who lives there) to see the (mostly) Indian labourers collapsing from the heat. If that’s happening in 2011, it sure as hell was happening in Roman times. 🙁

  5. John Salter
    Posted 13 September 2011 at 13:13 | Permalink

    Ben, yeah I suppose your right. It almost defies imagination because if the humidity isn’t good as well, its unbearable just to be out in it. I remember being somewhere in the desert a few years ago and it actually hurt to breath in through my nose and you were soaked wet through with sweat within seconds.

    Just imagine what it must have been like to be in that wearing chain mail or segmented armour, incredible. We may moan about the weather over here at times but its a damn sight better than living in temperatures like that and we have nice green fields. 😉

  6. benkane
    Posted 13 September 2011 at 13:42 | Permalink

    @John: I hear you! I travelled in Central Asia, China and Pakistan in 1997, and visited Peshawar, and the Khyber Pass (therein lies a story). The average temp. each day was 42-46 C, with nearly maximum humidity. I rapidly understood why most men walked around with a handtowel draped around their necks. It was just to wipe away the sweat! No matter how much we complain about our weather, I would rather it than that type of humid heat.

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