Found: A Silver Snake Ring Dating Back to Roman Britain - Atlas Obscura
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Found: A Silver Snake Ring Dating Back to Roman Britain

An excavation in northern England has found clues to its past.

The silver ring.
The silver ring. Northern Archaeological Associates

Someone who lived in northern England around 2,000 years ago had good taste.

Recently, Northern Archaeological Associates has been excavating a stretch of road—part of Britain’s longest highway, the A1—in advance of improvements, and they’ve turned up a series of artifacts hinting at a settlement that would have been one of the earliest and wealthiest Roman towns in Britain, as LiveScience writes.

Among the finds were a silver ring shaped like a snake and a fragment of an amber figurine depicting a “toga-clad actor,” Historic England says. These are the possessions of a wealthy person, and along with the other discoveries—shoes, cups, keys, coins, shoes, a pen and ink pot—they indicate that this area was likely a more important center than was previously realized.

One of the items discovered was a plumb bob, which would have been used in road construction to keep a project on course. “It is fascinating to discover that nearly 2,000 years ago the Romans were using the A1 route as a major road of strategic importance,” a representative of Highways England said in a release.