Connect with us

Entertainment

‘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.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Entertainment

Burna Boy did not pay all patients’ bills’- UPTH clarifies

The University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) has faulted reports that musician, Burna Boy, covered all medical bills for patients during a recent visit to the hospital.

The hospital clarified that the music icon only settled the bills of selected patients at the facility, contrary to claims of covering all outstanding bills.

Mrs Elabha Meni, the institution’s spokesperson, made the clarification in a statement in Port Harcourt on Friday.

“We commend Burna Boy’s kindness in financially assisting select patients in our hospital to offset their bills during his visit on June 11.

“However, contrary to reports stating that all patients bills in UPTH were paid during the visit, only selected patients received cash gifts or donations.

“The hospital did not receive direct payments from the musician and his team on behalf of patients to support this worthy course of reducing healthcare cost,” Meni clarified.

Meni lauded the musician’s charitable act in helping those in need in the society.

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Kanayo O Kanayo calls out teen actress, Angel Unigwe, mother over alleged breach of contract

Veteran Nollywood actor and producer, Kanayo O. Kanayo, has called out teen actress, Angel Unigwe, and her mother over an alleged breach of contract.

The filmmaker claimed that Unigwe breached a filming contract with his production firm after her mother came and took her home before the expiration of the duration of the contract.

He called on Nollywood producers to boycott the teen actress, threatening that he would come to disrupt any shoot involving her.

Speaking in a video message shared via his Instagram page on Friday, Kanayo said, “A particular woman has been holding producers to ransom. And this is unfortunate; it has happened to me. Unfortunately, she is Angel Unigwe’s mother. A contract is reached by every producer, whether written or orally. But we found out that immediately after this woman takes money from you, everything changes. I’ve gotten reports from people before it happened to me.

“It happened last night that she took her daughter at 9 pm, when a particular day we agreed had not expired. 12 midnight is expiring into another day. She came and took her daughter at 9 pm.

“This is a clarion call for every producer. Please, I beg you, in the name of professionalism and all that unites us, from this moment, the 21st day of June 2024, any set that employs the services of Angel Unigwe, I will come to that set and make sure filming does not hold. You guys know what it is for an artiste to walk out on a set. There was no issue. I want to assure all of you, we had very good working relationship with Angel. [But] Her mother has been threatening many producers. So please, from this moment on, I will monitor every filming schedule. Any set where I found Angel Unigwe would be disrupted.”

Angel Unigwe has not yet responded to the allegations and neither has her mother.

 

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Mohbad’s family rejects autopsy report, seeks proper investigation

The legal team representing the family of Ilerioluwa Aloba, popularly known as Mohbad has expressed dissatisfaction with the toxicology test results concerning the late singer.

The legal practitioners Wahab Shittu SAN and Taiwo Odumosu, Esq., in a press statement jointly signed, faulted the handling of the procedures, adding that it raised serious concerns about the integrity and thoroughness of the investigation by the police and the medical team into Mohbad’s death.

The family also challenged the Lagos State Government to confirm the autopsy’s authenticity because of the public’s doubts and conflicting reports.

Recalled that a US-based lab had refuted the claim by the Lagos State Government that the toxicology test was conducted at its facility.

The revelation was in response to inquiries made by our correspondent, who embarked on a fact-finding mission to ascertain the musician’s cause of death.

The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, while responding to inquiries via a live telephone call with Ahmad Isah, the anchor of an Abuja-based online programme, Brekete Family, sometime in February 2024, had said the toxicology test was being conducted at the NMS Labs in Pennsylvania, USA.

However, a pathologist, while testifying before the Coroner’s Court on May 15, revealed that an autopsy couldn’t determine Mohbad’s cause of death due to the decomposition of his body.

While citing the report, Shittu stated that the silence that followed from the government made a review of the toxicology test a necessity.

Shittu, who claimed there were discrepancies regarding the involvement of NMS Labs alleged that the letterhead and address of the facility appeared on the toxicology report despite conflicting statements from the laboratory regarding their actual role in the testing process.

He said, “We, the legal representatives of the Aloba Family, express our projfound dissatisfaction and disappointment with the recent announcement regarding the toxicology test results of the late Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba, which have been declared ‘inconclusive’ by the pathologist.

“This outcome is entirely unacceptable to us and the Aloba Family and raises serious concerns about the integrity and thoroughness of the investigation by the police and the medical team into the untimely death of their beloved son, brother, and friend. The Aloba family and, indeed, the whole world demand to know where the toxicology test was carried out as this has impugned the integrity.

“Following the news report in the Punch Newspaper of 31 May 2024 titled ‘US Lab Denies Conducting Poison Test on Mohbad’ and the silence that followed from the government, a review of the toxicology test must be necessary. The legal team wonders how the letterhead and the address of the National Medical Services Laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA appeared on the toxicology test report if the test was not truly carried out in the USA.

“The legal team is puzzled more given the discrepancies in the further response given by the NMS laboratories ascribing the test to another sister laboratory.

“The conflict of interest that bothers on professional integrity. The public is interested in knowing the relationship between the Lagos State DNA and Forensic Laboratory, NMS in the USA and ITSI Biosciences who allegedly completed the toxicology test on behalf of the Lagos State government.”

While describing Mohbad as a vibrant and promising young individual whose sudden demise left an indelible void, Shittu said the declaration of the autopsy as ‘inconclusive’ failed to provide the clarity needed and undermined the public as well as his family’s faith in the investigative process.

The legal team however demanded a fresh examination of the toxicology samples by an independent and reputable forensic laboratory, ensuring transparency throughout.

The team also called for a thorough review of testing protocols to prevent procedural errors or contamination, just as it urged the involvement of international forensic experts to oversee and validate the re-examination process.

It insisted on complete transparency in sharing all findings and reports related to the toxicology tests, urging expedited efforts to re-examine the samples and deliver definitive answers promptly.

Furthermore, the legal team criticised the Nigeria Police for what they deemed insufficient effort in the investigation while calling for the intervention of the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun.

“The Aloba Family remains steadfast in their pursuit of truth and justice for Ilerioluwa. They deserve clear, definitive answers regarding the cause of his death, and it is the responsibility of the investigative bodies to provide them with such clarity. The current ‘inconclusive’ results only serve to prolong their agony and uncertainty, which is both unfair and unjust.

“Considering the Coroner Inquest, we appeal to the presiding Magistrate to ensure that an independent toxicology report is submitted to the Coroner’s Court before submitting the final report to the authorities.

“Presently, we have an application before the Coroner Court seeking approval to conduct an independent autopsy and toxicology test. We call on the presiding magistrate in the matter to expedite a hearing on the independent autopsy and toxicology application. That is the only way justice can be served in this case,” the statement added.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending