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Phoenician Sailors

13 February 2020

At http://lyme-online.co.uk/news/phoenician-ship-completes-atlantic-voyage/ … the lyme online refers to Lyme Regis and Uplyme in Dorset (for overseas readers) and is situated on the Jurassic coastline. The story also has significance for the UK as Phoenicians are thought to have plied their boats to Cornwall (and elsewhere). The magnet here was tin, which was an important component of bronze alloy (copper and tin). Cornish tin was traded far and wide and the Phoenicians played an important role. In this post we have a replica of a Phoenician ship (which visited Lyme Regis in 2019) that has completed a 6000 mile voyage across the Atlantic. As such, it would hae been quite possible, technically and physically, for the Phoenicians to have visited the Americas long before Columbus or the Vikings. Whether they did or not is another story.


Moving elsewhere, The Times (of London) on Wednesday February 5th 2020, had a story about the discovery of a Roman villa at the site of a new housing development in Gloucestershire. The housebuilders, Bovis Homes, intended to build over the villa once archaeologists had done their briefing excavation (as required by UK legislation). However, archaeologists were reluctant to agree with this as the site offered years of research work and was unique in as far as it dated from early in the Roman occupation – a few decades after AD43. The site, at the village of Cam in the Cotswolds, is not too far from Cirencester, which became the second largest Roman town in the UK. A campaign by locals, influenced by the archaeologists, has led to Bovis Homes deciding to leave the villa site open – but they will build around it.


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