Ancient British artifacts to be displayed

November 30, 2006

An ancient curse inscribed on a sheet of lead is one of several treasures going on display from a British archaeological dig.

About 60 archaeologists from the University of Leicester have been working for three years in the city of Leicester, producing new insights into the development of Roman and other medieval towns.

One of the most interesting finds is a "curse tablet" -- a sheet of lead inscribed during the second or third century A.D. and intended to invoke the assistance of a chosen god in delivering punishment on a suspected thief.

"The recent excavations have been on a scale rarely seen in British cities, and for the first time in Leicester it has been possible to look at large areas of the Roman and medieval town," said Richard Buckley, co-director of the University of Leicester Archaeological Services. "This has made it possible to examine complete buildings and to see how an entire neighborhood changed over almost 2000 years."

Many of the artifacts will be publicly displayed for the first time Saturday at Leicester's Jewry Wall Museum.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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