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Our Disappearing Past

The once popular but now derelict St Quentin Millennium Shopping Mall in Frome St Quentin, scene of the finds

Scholars from the Threadbone Institute for Classical Studies [Compton Abbas] are amongst those questioning the authenticity of Roman finds proclaimed only weeks ago to be "100% genuine" by University of Afpuddle archeologists. Described as "a unique window into the lost world of our imperialist conquerors", the recovered remains were due to form the centrepiece of the Shitterton Museum's new Legacy of Colonialism: Shame, Responsibility and the Politics of Apology Exhibition which opens next week.

University Seals. [oh for f**k's sake, not those kind of university seals [Ed]

Discovered during the demolition of the St Quentin Millennium Shopping Mall in Frome St Quentin, the frescoes were the subject of emergency investigation by the University of Afpuddle's crack team of SAS-style archeological rescuers [the UoASASAR or "University Seals"] who immediately declared the finds "both important and significant". Two mosaics in particular - one of a bathing girl and one a more abstract symbol with accompanying graffiti [possibly a political slogan] - have attracted particular attention and have, says DBC's Time Team celebrity presenter Ginger Vitis, "opened up a right can of worms".

Amongst the first to cast doubt on the finds was Professor Skepp Tickle, Chief Scientist at the Threadbone Institute for Classical Studies [Compton Abbas]. In an exclusive interview with the learned professor said: "Whilst we know that our Roman oppressors were obsessed with hygiene, experts at water control and handy with a bit of lead piping and a blow torch, we must question closely whether they had the technology to install a full en suite shower cubicle with Homebase-style stainless steel mixer taps and laser cut multi-perforated showerheads". Pressed on the matter of the "lady" in the mural, he added "It would take someone more familiar with the female of the species and her/their/its tonsorial choices to say whether she is ancient or modern*, but I suspect the subject depicted using what appears to be a Mark 4B flexible handy hose is too modern to represent a Roman female at her ablusions"

* Lady gardening techniques have varied greatly through history and - rather like radio carbon dating or tree-ring analysis - can be useful dating devices - as any connoisseur of Playperson Magazine 1950-2020 will attest **

** not that kind of dating [Ed]

Through hard to read, the inscription close to the arboreal symbol may not be compimentary

As to the other symbols - a fuzzy outline of a tree with faintly visible text nearby - grafitti expert Paynton Runn believes they may represents political infighting amongst fractions supporting different political ideologies. "I imagine the tree represents a particular party which lost out so heavily at some point that it became completely forgotten. Who knows, it may have been very powerful at one time, but the slogan suggests it lost something of its reputation for sound fiscal management, became embroiled in petty in-fighting, mishandled illegal slave imports, failed to stave off an insurgent right wing Reform movement and disappeared without trace after an election meltdown. This is, of course, all speculation, but no scholar I know has any knowledge of this party's existence or admits to ever having voted for it." "Illib Non-Dems forever as it were; Semper Dominus Eduardus Davidus***."

*** dux aquae adipiscing et rex circi arenam

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