Work has started on a £110,000 dig to uncover evidence of a Roman town which lies beneath a Lincolnshire village.
Archaeologists said the excavation, in Navenby, could help them trace Roman occupation in the area from AD55.
A small dig in 2009 found remains from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD but experts believe it could go back to the earliest phase of the invasion.
The project, which started this week, has been part-funded by a £54,800 Heritage Lottery Fund grant.
Evidence of an ancient settlement at Navenby had been suspected for decades but substantial remains were discovered in the 1990s when the land was being developed for housing. Read more.
TWO people are being investigated by police on suspicion of attempting to loot buried treasure from the site of a historic Roman walled town in Northamptonshire.
Police confirmed the two suspects remained on bail on suspicion of illegally using a metal detector, the theft of treasure, damage to the land and other offences at a site of “tremendous historical and archeological importance”. They are believed to have attempted to take Roman coins and other historical artefacts.
Police said ‘several’ alleged crimes were being investigated at Chester House Farm, in Irchester, which is regarded by historians as one of the most important sites of its type in the county. Police are now liaising with experts from English Heritage and a national police expert about pursuing a case, which if prosecuted, could be one of the biggest of its kind in the country. Read more.
Wessex Archaeology has just completed a four week excavation within the southern part of the Charles Street Development in Dorchester. Neil Holbrook, of Cotswold Archaeology has been acting as archaeological consultant on behalf of the developers, Simons Developments and WDDC. A watching brief is currently being maintained on groundwork being undertaken by Cowlin Construction and their subcontractors associated with the construction of West Dorset District Council’s new offices, library and adult learning centre.
As the site occupies an area near to the southern edge of the Roman town of Durnovaria it was predicted evidence of Roman town life would be uncovered during the works. The prediction proved correct; immediately below the modern overburden, the remains of Roman houses were uncovered. Read more.
Archaeologists have spent the last two summers at the site of Venta Icenorum at Caistor St Edmund, with Channel 4’s Time Team filming them for a TV special last year.
The archaeologists returned at the weekend for another three week of digging, this time excavating parts of the Roman forum.
Led by Dr Will Bowden, associate professor of Roman archaeology at the University of Nottingham, the team hope to find out when the forum was built and what happened to it in the later Roman period.
Parts of the site were originally excavated between 1929 and 1935 following the publication of dramatic aerial photographs showing evidence of streets and public buildings, which made national newspaper headlines.
Those who studied the site in 1929-35, thought the Roman forum had been destroyed by fire and lay in ruins for around a hundred years before it was rebuilt.
The team carrying out the new excavations are looking for evidence of that blaze and are also digging in the north west of the town. Read more.
A chance discovery of coins has led to the bigger find of a Roman town, further west than it was previously thought Romans had settled in England.
The town was found under fields a number of miles west of Exeter, Devon.
Nearly 100 Roman coins were initially uncovered there by two amateur archaeological enthusiasts.
It had been thought that fierce resistance from local tribes to Roman culture stopped the Romans from moving so far into the county.
Sam Moorhead, national finds adviser for Iron Age and Roman coins for the PAS at the British Museum, said it was one of the most significant Roman discoveries in the country for many decades. Read more.
The future of an internationally important Roman town buried in an area of Norfolk has been secured thanks to a huge funding boost.
The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) has announced it will be giving £374,000 to the Norfolk Archaeological Trust (NAT) to purchase part of Venta Icenorum which lies beneath fields at Caistor St Edmund.
The Roman town – one of only three Roman regional centres in Britain that remains not built over – was at high risk of permanent damage as a result of farming and unauthorised metal detecting. It has been saved thanks to the NHMF grant and support from other organisations. As well as the NHMF grant, English Heritage has contributed £40,000, South Norfolk Council has provided £20,000, and the rest of the money needed came from NAT’s own resources. Read more.
While the Roman ruins at Pompeii are fascinating, very few of us get to fly our kids to Italy to explore them and other ruins from the A.D. 79 eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius.
However, families can now simulate that experience by playing the Windows computer game “Roman Town.”
Created by professional archaeologist and former teacher Suzi Wilczynski, founder of Dig-It! Games, the game lets kids become archaeologists and join in the uncovering of an ancient city found near Pompeii. In the process of solving the mystery of what happened to the ancient city of Fossura, kids will experience what it is like to be on an archaeological dig. Read more.