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(See “Rome’s Ruins.” ) How much of a surprise was it to find Roman skulls? It is never a surprise to find the remains of burials in London! The size of the city and its long history mean that you are never very far away from a burial ground, whether it be Roman or later. One could say that much of central London was a traditional burial site! Museum of London Archaeology and Crossrail’s archaeologists have been working for a decade to predict the likely archaeological remains in the areas of the works, and how to deal with them in advance of construction. However, whilst we knew that we would encounter burials from the 16th-century Bedlam burial ground, it was not at all certain whether Roman graves would turn up. Although known from past finds in this part of London, the sheer number of skulls we have found, currently more than two dozen, has indeed surprised us. Have these finds changed, modified, or shaded-in previously held perceptions of life in London in Roman times, or of the ancient geography of the city? These finds are very important, as they help us to characterize the nature and use of one of London’s “lost” rivers, the Walbrook. At this very early stage, we are not sure whether the finds will change or modify our perceptions of life in Roman London. What we do know is that they will help us to fill in another gap in the Roman map of the city, allowing us to fill out the information we already have. Each archaeological investigation helps us to join the dots and fill gaps in our knowledge. How important was the River Walbrook to London in Roman and medieval times? The Walbrook formed a useful water supply, not only for daily life, but also for industry such as tanneries on the edge of the medieval city. However, the many branches of the stream may have been as much of a hindrance as a benefit to the Romans, who expended much effort to force the watercourses within the city of Londinium into channels revetted with timber, and [who dumped] large quantities of earth to reclaim adjacent ground for building.

London steals title of best city in the world from Paris

Regulator to Highest Fines in a Decade By Suzi Ring – 2013-10-04T15:11:31Z The U.K. finance regulator recorded its largest month of fines in more than a decade in September, buoyed by a 137.6 million-pound ($221.2 million) penalty against JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) over the London Whale debacle. Industry fines totaled 169.5 million pounds last month and brought total penalties from the Financial Conduct Authority in 2013 to 339.5 million pounds, according to statistics published today by Wolters Kluwer NV (WKL) , Europe s largest tax and legal publisher. The year-to-date total is larger than any other full year since 2002. The regulator fined JPMorgan as part of a probe into losses exceeding $6.2 billion on a derivatives position built by a trader who came to be known as the London Whale because his bets were so large. The past year has also seen the regulator punish banks embroiled in the scandal over rigging of the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor. The FCA is endeavoring to keep up with the international trend towards greater levels of fining and is continuing the trajectory started in the U.K. by the Financial Services Authority in its latter years, said Barnabas Reynolds, a London lawyer at U.S. law firm Shearman & Sterling LLP. The FSA became the FCA in April this year. FCA fines increased considerably last year hitting 313.4 million pounds at the end of 2012 compared with 66.1 million pounds in 2011.

London Dig Uncovers Roman-Era Skulls

An archaeologist digs out a possibly Roman skull from the site of the graveyard of the Bethlehem, or Bedlam, hospital next to Liverpool Street Station in the City of London. The dig is on the site of the future ticket hall for the Crossrail station at Liverpool Street.

And to beat a team they usually struggled against will do their confidence and morale a world of good. Having George Skivington back leading the team for the first time since leaving the field in a pre-season match against Munster with severe concussion chad a major impact. Irish were full value for a hard fought victory against opponents who were a shadow of the team which swept all before it to lift the title 17 months ago They shrugged off the early blow of losing flanker Kieran Low as the first half produced a kicking match with Shane Geraghty and Nick Evans nailing two apiece by the interval. Fortunately, the second half was a contrast to the first with the game opening up. Losing their inspirational skipper rattled Quins as they were caught sleeping by decisive Irish attacks. This match turned quickly as Cowan forced his way over followed by Lewington in the corner. Care replied by darting over for Quins only try but Irish held out. OShea refuses to push the panic button despite the poor start but insisted: Its too early to write us off but the important thing is to see how the guys react. You get nothing easy in life and we knew Irish would scrap for their lives. Its really frustrating seeing a performance like that. We cant expect to win games playing with that lack of direction and physicality. Delighted Irish director of rugby Brian Smith said: We knew Quins would throw the kitchen sink at us and they did.

London Irish 18 Harlequins 13: match report

But the City of Light, one of the most visited cities in the world, has been knocked off its perch as best city in the world by London and Sydney in a new index released this week. According to the latest edition of the Anholt-GfK City Brands Index which measures a citys brand image, power and appeal, Londons stock has gone up in the world as it took the top spot in the biennial ranking. Possible reasons could include the fact that the city continues to bask in the afterglow of a successful Summer Olympic Games and has maintained a presence in the international spotlight with a string of historic milestones that include the Queens Coronation ceremony and the highly anticipated birth of a new royal with the arrival of Prince George. London also took the top spot as the city where individual cultures are appreciated and where foreigners can “easily fit in.” The Aussie capital of Sydney, meanwhile, enjoys a stellar reputation around the world for being the safest and friendliest city. The City Brands index measures the value of a citys international reputation across six dimensions: its international status and standing; esthetic; a category called pre-requisites such as affordable accommodations and the standard of public amenities; people; pulse (interesting things to do) and its economic and educational potential. More than 5,140 interviews were conducted in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Russia, South Korea, the US and the UK for the index. And while Paris was able to take the top spot in the category of Pulse, where the city failed to crack the top 10 ranking was in categories such as Friendly People and Safety. This summer, in a bid to shed their longstanding image of being rude and surly, the citys chamber of commerce published an etiquette manual for Parisian restaurateurs, taxi drivers and sales staff on how to welcome international tourists. …despite its indisputable charm, the capital has work to do when it comes to welcoming visitors, the chamber admits. And earlier this year, high-profile muggings of Chinese tourists robbed of their passports, plane tickets and cash shortly after landing in Paris tarnished the citys image, as did footage broadcast worldwide of soccer-related riots which broke out not far from the Eiffel Tower. Meanwhile, other notable movements on the index include Tokyo, which suffered a 7-spot drop from tenth place in 2011 to 17th place in 2013. Amsterdam, meanwhile, shot up the ranks from 17th spot to 11th position this year. And while Rio de Janeiro was ranked the third friendliest city on the list, the city fell to the bottom of the heap when it comes to safety (47 out of 50) — a particular concern given it’s set to host the World Cup and the Summer Olympics, the report points out. Here are the top 10 best cities for 2013: 1.