Pile of Roman Armor, Weapons Discovered in U.K.

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"As far as we know, they are unique in Britain and possibly even in the Roman Empire."

English Heritage conservation expert, Jennifer Jones, based at Durham University's archaeology department, is in charge of the conservation operation.

She said: "I worked closely with Carlisle for a long time so it was only natural they came to me for the storage.

"The artifacts were excavated wet and include organic materials like leather.

"They could be destroyed if allowed to dry out, so they have been frozen to preserve them."

Most of the items have been put in a special freezer and those that are too big to fit are being kept frozen using carbon dioxide pellets and insulating covers.

They will remain in storage until later this year until funding is made available for conservation work.

Jones said: "The contracts will be put out to tender but I am hoping to carry out some of the work.

"There are more than 12,000 artifacts so it will be an extraordinary challenge, and whoever carries out the work will have to work closely with an armor expert so they know exactly what they are dealing with."

Once work is complete, the armor will go on display to the public.

Zant said: "It hasn't yet been decided where this will be, but the people of Carlisle are hoping it will be here."

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