Fascinated by history and archaeology, Valerie Varnuska of Westbury, NY, enjoys learning about people that lived long ago. Valerie Varnuska is specifically interested in art and artifacts that tell researchers about these communities and their lifestyles.
At the legendary palace of Tintagel in Cornwall, England, archaeologists are in the process of investigating a large and high-status settlement that may date back as far as the fifth century AD. Researchers have already uncovered several hundred buildings and hundreds of pieces of high-end pottery and glassware. The pottery and glass appears to be of Mediterranean origin and thus indicates the settlement as a center of trade with what would then have been the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire.
The number of artifacts at the site suggest to researchers that it was not simply a trade outpost, but a place where such costly goods would have been used. The settlement may then have been a royal residence for the rulers of Dumnonia, a Celtic civilization active after the fall of the Roman Empire in Britain. Archaeologists hope that the excavation of the site will provide more information about the Dumnonian people, as well as insights into their trade with Byzantine peoples at a time when Roman rule had relinquished western Europe.