Archaeologist digs into grandad's tale to uncover lost Yorkshire amphitheatre





A national theatre of the north is found on summit of Studforth Hill in Aldborough.

The lost amphitheatre of northern England has been found on a Yorkshire hilltop in a discovery with major implications for the study of Roman Britain.

Centuries of speculation have ended with a printout from geomagnetic scanners which reveals a great tiered bank of seats below curving hummocks in a field now frequented only by a herd of cattle.

Crowning the summit of Studforth Hill, the oval arena would have combined spectacles and entertainments with a magnificent 360-degree view, making it the equivalent of a national theatre of the north.

The find by Cambridge University archaeologists – led by a young woman who grew up locally and was told the amphitheatre legend by her grandfather – seals the importance in Roman times of the small village of Aldborough, between Harrogate and York.

It also adds to growing evidence that Britannia Inferior, as the northern province was known, was busier, more prosperous and cultured than previously thought. There have been a relative shortage of digs and studies of civilian sites in the area, compared with hundreds in Britannia Superior, today's south....




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