Mudlarker discovers a cup in the Thames that may be a rare Roman find

A braggart says he has been told he has found an almost complete “rare” Roman cup on the banks of the River Thames.

Malcom Russell, 49, from London, pulled the artifact out of the mud when he ventured out last week, during some of the lowest tides of the year.

He said archaeologists at the Museum of London believed the object could date to the second century AD.

Russell said it was “high” on his “dream find list”, and his Twitter post about the find had gone viral.

Popularized by the Victorians, mudlarking involves going down to the banks of the Thames at low tide and searching for interesting historical artifacts.

Russell, who is from Walthamstow, east London, and has been bragging for seven years, says he “was excited about what could emerge” because “at very low tide, obviously more of the river bed It’s exposed and you have more chances.” to find things.”

Despite this, he said that after a few hours he still hadn’t found anything, until he saw “a dark spot under two feet of water.”

“Normally you only find shards of Roman pottery, little pieces,” he said, “but I started to put my hand in the water and I pulled the handle of this piece of pottery and it kept coming forward, and then suddenly in my hands I had a Roman pot almost complete”.

He continued: “I was so amazed and excited at the time that I almost threw out all the mud and sand that was in it, but I remembered a friend who said you shouldn’t do that because the Museum of London likes to X-ray whole pots to see if they have any original content.”

‘1,800 years’

He added that he had only seen a couple of things of that size appear in the last seven or eight years.

“When you think that over time it breaks or is thrown in the river and breaks, it’s miraculous that something so complete can survive,” he said.

Notable Thames Findings:

He explained that although the craft was missing one of its handles, he had contacted the Museum of London to see if they were interested in examining it.

He says archaeologists told him it looked like “a rare find”, and although no original contents were found in the cup, it is likely more than 1,800 years old.

He said: “They have found that it is most likely a contemporary copy modeled after a much more expensive type of vessel made along the Rhine River in the second century AD later.

“The museum said it had not identified another example that has been found in this state from making mud in London,” it added.

Russell said experts believed there was “certainly a very good chance that it would have been used for wine or another liquid.”

Speaking about what motivated him to get muddy, he said: “All I find are little portals to the past, and something that complete is very evocative, it makes your mind race as to what it was used for, who were the last hands on it. touch before it ended here, why did you throw it away?It really is very rich food for the imagination.

“It’s adding to our knowledge of London’s past. It definitely excites me, you don’t just find these things for yourself, you find them so everyone can learn from them.”

It’s unclear if the museum intends to keep the artifact once its provenance is confirmed, but Russell said he would happily donate it to his collection.

The Port of London Authority says a valid permit is required for anyone wishing to search the sludge of the Thames.

A Museum of London spokesperson said: “The object has been handed over to the museum’s finds officer.

“We cannot comment on it at this stage until some initial research and analysis has been done.”

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