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Dangling from an abseil rope 30ft up a river gorge rock face, archaeologist Jon Allison certainly felt close to the Romans who had worked on that same spot 1,800 years ago. They left their mark in the shape of graffiti composed of inscriptions and carved faces, and studying the messages produced the sensation of the quarry work gang communicating across the centuries. The carvings reveal that soldiers of the Second and 20th legions were detailed to operate in the quarry as part of the major repairing and re-building of Hadrian’s Wall. And as a serving soldier himself for 22 years,…

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