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‘Astounding’ Roman statues unearthed at Norman church ruins on route of HS2

Statues

Statues of a Roman man, woman and child have been uncovered by archaeologists at an abandoned medieval church on the route of the HS2 high-speed railway.

The discovery was “utterly astounding”, according to Rachel Wood, the lead archaeologist at the site in Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire. “They’re really rare finds in the UK,” she said.

“The statues are exceptionally well preserved, and you really get an impression of the people they depict – literally looking into the faces of the past is a unique experience.”

A hexagonal glass Roman jug was also uncovered. Despite being in the ground for what is thought to be more than 1,000 years, large pieces were intact. The only known comparable item is a vessel on display in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The statues were unearthed at the ruins of a Norman church, where a team of archaeologists has been working for the past six months.

Saint Mary’s church was built in 1080, and renovated in the 13th, 14th and 17th centuries. It was abandoned in 1880, and demolished in 1966 after being declared dangerous. Its ruins became overgrown with vegetation.

In May, archaeologists and engineers began removing the remaining structure of the church and excavating the burial ground that was in use for 900 years, with the last recorded interment in 1908.

Experts believe the location was used as a Roman mausoleum before the Norman church was built. About 3,000 bodies have been removed and will be reburied at a new site.

Wood said the discovery of the statues and jug “leads us to wonder what else might be buried beneath England’s medieval village churches. This has truly been a once in a lifetime site and we are all looking forward to hearing what more the specialists can tell us about these incredible statues and the history of the site before the construction of the Norman church.”

They have been sent to a laboratory for specialist cleaning and analysis.

More than 1,000 archaeologists have worked at more than 60 sites along the HS2 route between London and the West Midlands over the past three years.

At Saint James’s Garden near Euston station in central London, more than 50,000 skeletons were exhumed from a burial ground. In Birmingham, more than 6,500 skeletons were uncovered from an 18th-century cemetery.

Archaeologists began work on the 150-mile route in 2018.

Mike Court, the lead archaeologist at HS2, said the Roman statues found at Stoke Mandeville were “just some of the incredible artefacts uncovered between London and the West Midlands”.

He added: “HS2’s unprecedented archaeology programme has given us new insights into Britain’s history, providing evidence of where and how our ancestors lived.”

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Entertainment

Semitic Statements: Chicago Institute Revoke’s Kanye West’s Honorary Doctorate

The School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago has revoked the honorary doctorate degree given to rapper, Kanye West, in 2015.

According to TMZ, the president of the school, Elisa Tenny, revealed in a letter that West’s degree was revoked due to his recent outbursts of antisemitism and otherwise offensive comments.

SAIC president Tenny wrote that West’s degree was rescinded because the board found that “his anti-Black, antisemitic, and incendiary statements, particularly those directed at Black and Jewish communities, are disgusting and condemnable”.

Tenny noted that West had been awarded his degree “in recognition for his artistic accomplishments to that point in time”, however over the seven years since then, his “disturbing behaviors” and “dangerous statements” have crafted an image that “[does] not align” with the school’s “community values.”

(NME)

 

 

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Ace Performer, Celine Dion Cancels 2023 Shows Over Battle With Incurable Disease

Celine Dion, veteran Canadian music artiste has opened up on her battle with Stiff Person Syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes one’s muscles to tense uncontrollably.

The 54-year-old made the announcement in a video on her Instagram page on Thursday, where she disclosed that her 2023 shows had been moved to 2024.

She noted that the rare disease, which occurs in one in a million people, had caused her to have spasms.

The Power of Love singer said, “Hello everyone, im sorry it’s taken me so long to reach out to you. I miss you all so much and can’t wait to be on stage talking to you in person.

“As you know I’ve always been an open book and I wasn’t ready to say anything before but im ready now.

“I’ve been dealing with problems with my health for a long time and its been really difficult for me to face my challenges and to talk about everything that I’ve been going through.

“Recently, I’ve been diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder called the stiff person syndrome which affects 1 in a million people

“While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what’s been causing all the spasms I’ve been having.”

The caption of the video read, “Celine Dion reschedules Spring 2023 shows to 2024,and cancels eight of her summer 2023 shows.”

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Entertainment

Sammie Okposo For Burial December 15

The funeral arrangements for gospel singer, Sammie Okposo, have been released by his family.

The singer died in November 25 aged 51.

The family stated that a tribute night will be held for him on Tuesday, December 13 in Lagos State, followed by a service of songs on Wednesday.

The funeral service for Okposo will take place on December 15 and will be private affair.

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