2000-year-old Roman anchor found off Suffolk coast

Undated ScottishPower Renewables handout photo of an anchor discovered during survey work for an offshore wind farm which may date from Roman times. The 100kg wrought iron anchor, which is more than two meters long, was discovered during work on ScottishPower Renewables' East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm. It was first discovered in 2018 during seabed survey work ahead of the construction of the wind farm some 25 miles off the Suffolk coast. Issue date: Monday September 26, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story SEA Anchor. Photo credit should read: ScottishPower Renewables/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may be used for editorial reporting purposes only to simultaneously illustrate events, things or people in the photo or facts mentioned in the photo caption. Reuse of the image may require further permission from the copyright owner.

The two meter long anchor is estimated to have come from a 500-600 ton ship and is believed to be between 1,600 and 2,000 years old (Image: PA)

While surveying for an offshore wind farm, archaeologists have uncovered an “incredibly rare” anchor believed to date from Roman times.

The 2,000-year-old iron anchor was discovered at the bottom of the southern North Sea near Suffolk while workers were conducting survey work for Scottish Power.

Experts believe the 100 kg anchor dates back to the Roman or late Iron Age and could provide clues to ancient Roman travel and trade in the southern North Sea.

The two meter long anchor is estimated to have come from a 500-600 ton ship and is between 1,600 and 2,000 years old.

“Everything points to it being a Roman anchor almost 2,000 years old, which is an incredibly rare piece of history,” said Brandon Mason of Maritime Archeology Ltd.

Undated ScottishPower Renewables handout photo of an anchor discovered during survey work for an offshore wind farm which may date from Roman times. The 100kg wrought iron anchor, which is more than two meters long, was discovered during work on ScottishPower Renewables' East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm. It was first discovered in 2018 during seabed survey work ahead of the construction of the wind farm some 25 miles off the Suffolk coast. Issue date: Monday September 26, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story SEA Anchor. Photo credit should read: ScottishPower Renewables/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may be used for editorial reporting purposes only to simultaneously illustrate events, things or people in the photo or facts mentioned in the photo caption. Reuse of the image may require further permission from the copyright owner.

It is currently undergoing detailed imaging and analysis to better determine its age (Image: PA)

“Should this date be confirmed, its importance can hardly be overstated – we are only aware of three pre-Viking-age anchors from northern European waters outside the Mediterranean, and only two have actually survived.”

This find may be the oldest and one of the largest surviving examples, providing hard evidence of the incredible amount of activity that must have been going on in the waters in Roman times.

The anchor was first spotted in 2018 but was safely recovered from the water last year after being monitored due to concerns about its long-term preservation.

It is currently undergoing detailed imaging and analysis to better determine its age. Once this is done the anchor will go on permanent display in association with the Colchester and Ipswich Museums.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring such a historic find to Ipswich and add it to our wonderful collection,” said Carole Jones, Councilor, Ipswich Borough Council.

wind farm

The anchor was discovered at the bottom of the southern North Sea near Suffolk while workers were conducting survey work for Scottish Power (Image: Unsplash)

“The anchor will only be available to our visitors on Tuesday 27th September for a first look before it is taken away for important conservation work before returning permanently to our collection in 2025.”

“This area of ​​the North Sea has been mapped and studied in an unprecedented way. For the anchor, the resulting analysis and conservation is an important next step,” said Stuart Churchley, Historic England Marine’s archeology planning officer.

Scottish Power Renewables is commissioning an analysis process to study the material form of the anchor with Historic England’s materials science experts.

“Our East Anglia ONE wind farm has proven to be an archeological treasure trove – both onshore and offshore – and this latest find shows that it’s still going strong,” said Ross Ovens, Managing Director of ScottishPower Renewables East Anglia Hub.

The wind farm project is expected to provide thousands of homes with clean electricity, and the latest archaeological find is an added bonus.

“Regardless of what is to come, it is clear that East Anglia ONE has already carved its place in maritime history and we are very proud of that,” said Ovens.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/09/26/2000-year-old-roman-anchor-found-off-the-coast-of-suffolk-17452367/ 2000-year-old Roman anchor found off Suffolk coast

Justin Scacco

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