We discuss and comment on the role agriculture will play in the containment of the CO2 problem and address protocols for terraforming the planet Earth.
A model farm template is imagined as the central methodology. A broad range of timely science news and other topics of interest are commented on.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Amazingly this road managed to
avoid destruction from tree roots, suggesting that shallow rooted trees
provided cover.An oak would have
smashed it all up.
Instead we get a prime example of
Roman road at the height of Roman power.The Romans did not ever truly rely on fortifications.They were just too good at tearing them
down.Instead mobile armies quite able
to match any local forces made roads a key method for projecting power.
The map shows us a road that
followed the coast allowing sea borne support also.This provided a strong base for the South of
England that could be supported from Gaul in
It was never a good plan to challenge
Roman military resources before the fifth century and the collapse triggered by
a sharp temperature drop and associated plague.Sadly, England
was the first outlier to be abandoned.
Motorway maximus: Unearthed, a stunning Roman super-highway built 1,900
It was a route once trod by legionnaires as they marched across a
But, eventually, the Romans left Britain and the magnificent highway
they created was reclaimed by nature and seemingly lost for ever.
Now, some 2,000 years after it was built, it has been uncovered in the
depths of a forest in Dorset.
And, remarkably, it shows no sign of the potholes that blight our modern roads.
Half-mile long: Laurence Degoul from the Forestry Commission stands on
a 15ft-high section of Roman road uncovered in PuddletownForest in Dorset
Constructed by the Roman invaders as part of a route from London (Londinium) to Exeter (Isca), the 85ft wide earthwork stands
more than 15ft high and consists of a sweeping road with deep ditches at the
It was so densely covered by trees, however, that although its
existence was known about, it simply could not be found until now.
One of the country’s first roads, it was uncovered when the Forestry
Commission, acting on advice from English Heritage expert Peter Addison,
cleared the Norway spruce fir trees in Puddletown Forest.
Mr Addison said it was the biggest Roman road he had come across and
that it was probably designed to make a statement. It is thought that it might
have been built shortly after the Roman conquest in the first century and its
scale would have been chosen to intimidate people living nearby.
Between deep ditches: Experts believe the road's scale was to
deliberately intimidate the locals - the sight of a Roman legion marching along
the road would have had the desired effect
The section uncovered was built from gravel and is amazingly
well-preserved thanks to never having been under the plough and later covered with
a dense pine wood
The sight of a Roman legion marching along it would surely have had the
It is thought the road would have been made from layers of gravel and the fact
it still exists is testimony to the skills of the builders.
There is a central cobbled ‘street’, which would have been used for
rapid troop movements, and outer ‘droving’ roads for livestock, as well as
ditches for water drainage.
Mr Addison said: ‘It’s extraordinary. It has been known about but when
the Forestry Commission wanted to find it, they struggled.
‘The trees were planted so tightly it was difficult to move through
them. But they called me in and I managed to find it.
‘It is part of the road that goes from Badbury Rings to the fort at
Dorchester and was part of the network of roads from Old Sarum (now Salisbury) to Exeter.
Artist's impression: The Roman road being built in the Dorset forest 1,900 years ago
‘It is absolutely huge and unlike anything I have ever seen. Here you
have a large road with huge ditches either side. It is raised very high which
is unusual. It is only speculation, but the height might have been to make a
‘It is thought this was a road made early in the occupation and not
used for long. If so, then it would have been incredibly impressive to the
‘In other parts of the forest we know the road was made using gravel
and they probably used layers to build up the agger (embankment). They built
ditches on either side to act as soakaways to prolong the life of the road.
‘But more work needs to be done to find out these details.’
It is hoped that archaeologists will be able to examine the road.
A Forestry Commission spokesman said it would not be planting any more
trees on it.
The road will probably be grassed over in the future, he added.
‘We have painstakingly uncovered one of the UK’s most remarkable sections of
ancient Roman road,’ the spokesman said.
Scientists had to cut down Norway Spruce fir trees in PuddletownForest
in order to uncover the half-mile long section of road between London