Anchor discovered during wind farm works off Suffolk coast could date from Roman times

Anchor discovered during wind farm works off Suffolk coast could date from Roman times
Anchor discovered during wind farm works off Suffolk coast could date from Roman times

Arabnews24.ca:Monday 26 September 2022 04:52 AM: An anchor discovered during survey works for an offshore wind farm could be almost 2,000 years old and come from a Roman fleet, experts have said.

Brandon Mason, of Maritime Archaeology Ltd, said it would be hard to "overstate the significance" of the find as it would be one of the longest-surviving pre-Viking anchors from northern European waters outside the Mediterranean region.

If dated to the time of the Roman occupation of Britain, experts said it is most likely to have come from one of the larger merchant ships of the Roman fleet.

The 100kg (15 stone 10lbs) wrought iron anchor, which is more than two metres (6ft 6ins) long, was discovered about 25 miles off the coast of Suffolk.

It was found in 2018 during marine seabed survey works for ScottishPower Renewables' East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm.

Mr Mason spent hours monitoring the anchor on the seabed and was on board an offshore support vessel as the anchor was raised more than 140 feet to the surface and taken to shore last year.

He said: "Everything points to this being a Roman anchor of almost 2,000 years old, which is an incredibly rare piece of history.

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"If this date is confirmed, it would be hard to overstate its significance - we only know about three pre-Viking anchors from northern European waters outside the Mediterranean region and only two actually survived.

"We believe this find could be the oldest and one of the largest surviving examples, giving us hard evidence of the incredible amount of activity that must have been going on in the waters in Roman times, but that we know relatively little about.

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"It's an absolute privilege to bring the anchor to the surface and to share its story with people not just across the East of England, but right around the world."

He said the anchor will go on permanent display, in conjunction with Colchester and Ipswich Museums, after further conservation work and analysis.

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The anchor is believed to be somewhere between 1,600 and 2,000 years old and is estimated to have come from a vessel of 500 to 600 tonnes, according to those who have monitored it.

Analysis to confirm the age of the anchor is ongoing.

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