Roman Shrine Discovered Beneath Cemetery in Central England by Archaeologists

Photo: AP (Fair Use)

In the vicinity of a cathedral in central England, archaeologists have discovered what they presume to be a Roman shrine that was hidden beneath a former graveyard.

On Tuesday, researchers from the University of Leicester reported discovering what they believe to be the basement of a Roman edifice and a fragment of an 1,800-year-old altar stone while conducting excavations on the premises of Leicester Cathedral, the Associated Press reported.

“There’s always been this folk tale that there was a Roman temple underneath the cathedral,” said Mathew Morris, excavation director for the University of Leicester’s Archaeological Services, as reported by the AP.

“Until now, there’s been no way of being able to say whether there was or not,” he added, but the new findings reveal that “there is definitely a Roman place of worship underneath the cathedral.”

According to Morris and his team, the underground cellar, which is approximately 10 feet (3 meters) deep, dates back to the second century. Furthermore, numerous Roman coins and pieces of pottery were discovered on the premises.

As part of a multi-million-pound initiative to refurbish Leicester Cathedral, which is believed to have been erected in the 11th century, the excavation was conducted.

The cathedral currently houses the final resting place of Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England and the last English ruler to have perished in combat, having passed away in 1485.

Written by staff