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Christian chalice unearthed in Roman fort along Hadrian's Wall

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  • Christian chalice unearthed in Roman fort along Hadrian's Wall

    Approximately 1400 years ago near the Roman fort at Vindolanda in Northumberland in northern England, near Hadrian's Wall, someone etched images into virtually every square inch of a lead chalice with depictions of crosses of various types, whale & fish, angels and other Christian symbols representing different forms of Christian iconography from the time. Now 14 fragments from that chalice has been excavated from the site of what was thought could be the ruins of a 6th cent. Christian church.

    The discovery of these extremely battered fragments is important for several reasons.

    There is nothing in north-western Europe that comes close to the combination of so many of these etchings from the period to this discovery. The nature of the images will likely force researchers to look at similar "graffiti" at early Christian sites in a different light.

    Further, it is the only surviving partial chalice from this period in Britain and the first such artifact to come from a fort on Hadrian’s Wall.

    Also, the presence of the chalice confirms that the site, which was inside the fort itself, was indeed that of a church making it the first suspected church site to be verified in this region from this period.



    Various News Articles:
    Last edited by rogue06; 09-06-2020, 05:28 AM. Reason: missed a source

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  • #2
    Interesting.

    "Lead Chalice"?

    I wonder (seriously) if there were illnesses from drinking --- or were these ONLY ceremonial, and maybe not used regularly enough to cause trouble?

    (Or am I misunderstanding the use of "lead" here?)
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
      Interesting.

      "Lead Chalice"?

      I wonder (seriously) if there were illnesses from drinking --- or were these ONLY ceremonial, and maybe not used regularly enough to cause trouble?

      (Or am I misunderstanding the use of "lead" here?)
      People back then didn't understand what lead could do. The Romans made their water pipes out of it (which is why we use the Latin word for lead to refer to those same pipes today, "plumbing" from "plumbum").
      I even heard of a particular expedition to find the Northwest Passage that brought food packed in tin cans soldered with lead, and the journey ended about as well as you'd expect. This was when canning was pretty new and it was still a lot of trial and error. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran...ost_expedition
      Curiosity never hurt anyone. It was stupidity that killed the cat.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by QuantaFille View Post
        People back then didn't understand what lead could do. The Romans made their water pipes out of it (which is why we use the Latin word for lead to refer to those same pipes today, "plumbing" from "plumbum").
        I even heard of a particular expedition to find the Northwest Passage that brought food packed in tin cans soldered with lead, and the journey ended about as well as you'd expect. This was when canning was pretty new and it was still a lot of trial and error. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran...ost_expedition
        interesting
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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