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Getting to the Roots of London

A stone plaque offers the earliest physical proof of the Romans' naming of the city.

October 13, 2002|From Associated Press

LONDON — A 2,000-year-old stone plaque engraved with the oldest Roman naming of London has been unearthed on a building site, archeologists said.

Experts believe the 12-by-16-inch plaque, engraved with the Latin word "Londiniensium," is the earliest known physical proof of the capital's original Roman name.

Dating from about AD 150, the remarkably well-preserved stone was discovered on a building site for new homes in Southwark, South London.

The plaque was uncovered Oct. 3 and will be displayed at the Museum of London. Experts believe that it is a dedication from Tiberinius Celerianus, the moritex, or chief trade negotiator, from the area.

"The inscription shows London's significance as a trading center," Nansi Rosenborg, senior archeological consultant with building consultancy EC Harris, said Friday.

Archeologists provided a translation:

"To the spirits of the emperors [and] the God Mars Camulos, Tiberinius Celerianus, ranking moritex of the [traders] of London."

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