Roman grooming set discovered at the bottom of a river in Kent containing a 2000-year-old EAR BUD and a pair of tweezers
- A roman ear bud, pair of tweezers and other grooming tools were uncovered
- Artefacts were found at bottom of a river by archaeologists near Dartford, Kent
- Archaeologists think they fell from a barge more than two millennia ago
A set of 2000-year-old Roman grooming tools including tweezers and an ear bud have been uncovered by archaeologists.
Experts discovered the ancient grooming set at the bottom of a river, and think they may have fallen in from a barge more than two millennia ago.
The artefacts were dug up by archaeologists near Dartford, Kent, alongside a piece of timber believed to have been used in construction.
A set of ancient Roman tweezers and ear cleaners have been discovered – in remarkable condition near Dartford
The Roman ear cleaner – which looks like a metal cotton bud – was discovered during the excavation of a drainage trench earlier this year.
A pair of tweezers, which also date back 2,000 years, were shaped identically to modern-day tweezers.
Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, which is building the new Springhead Bridge near Dartford, has commissioned specialists to preserve the timber in wax – a process which takes more than a year.
The Roman ear cleaner – which looks like a metal cotton bud – was discovered during the excavation of a drainage trench earlier this year
Julia Gregory, director of projects for the Ebbsfleet Garden City, said: ‘Ebbsfleet Garden City and the surrounding area has a fascinating history.
‘While the work goes on to document the items found, it would be lovely to find them a permanent home here in the Garden City at some point in the future.’
Full-time archaeologists were employed at the site due to significant finds elsewhere in the area – including elephant bones, which were discovered during the construction of the High Speed 1 railway line.
Pottery was also found nearby, which was identified as being of Saxon origin.
In Roman times, the River Ebbsfleet was the site of a settlement called Vagniacis
In Roman times, the River Ebbsfleet was the site of a settlement called Vagniacis – and used to link Watling Street to the River Thames.
In the 14th century it was a stopping place for pilgrims on the road to Canterbury.
It is mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as ‘Ypwines fleot’ or ‘Heopwines fleot’ – ‘fleot’ being Anglo-Saxon for tidal inlet.
The Chronicle also mentions a bridge across the river at Northfleet in 1451, which was still being used into the 19th century.
A piece of timber believed to have been used in construction – which will now be preserved in wax
HOW CLEAN WERE THE ROMANS?
In Roman times rich and poor people bathed daily, wallowing stark naked in the mixed-sex pools of public bath houses.
Soap hadn’t been invented, but servants rubbed bathers with oil and scraped their skin with curved metal blades.
The residue oil, sweat and skin cells scraped off gladiators’ bodies was sold to female fans in tiny pots and used as face cream.
Much debauchery and hanky-panky went on in Roman baths, which is probably why the early Christians pulled the plug.
Many Romans would have a skilled servant who could use a thin iron razor to shave them.