The mystery surrounding the history of 17 Roman military altars found in Cumbria could now be solved.
When the relics were unearthed in the late 1800s, scholars orginally thought they had been buried in Maryport as part of a religious ceremony.
But a dig last year discovered they had in fact been reused as the foundation stones to a large late Roman building.
Today a team from Newcastle University and west Cumbrian volunteers have started to dig again to find out what that building was.
The excavation will run for 10 weeks. This year's project will cost a little over £100,000, £60,000 of which is provided by the Senhouse Museum Trust which runs the Senhouse Roman Museum, while the remainder is contributed by Newcastle University.
The team includes archaeologists and students from Newcastle University and 42 local volunteers.
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