‘most impressive’ archaeological site could ‘transform’ understanding of Roman times | UK News
One of the “most impressive” archaeological sites spanning different time periods has been discovered in Northamptonshire as part of the HS2 railway project – and has the potential to “transform our understanding” of the Roman landscape.
The site, named Blackgrounds after the soil found in the area has been around since the 18th century – but officials said the “high quality finds” and scale had exceeded all expectations.
A team of around 80 archaeologists excavated the site near Chipping Warden over the past year and found a village of 30 rotundas.
Crossing the site, an “exceptional” road 10 meters wide indicates how the area would have been occupied by carts carrying goods.
Wealth likely to have been based on trade
Evidence from the excavations shows that the settlement continued to expand and became more prosperous during the Roman period, with the construction of new stone buildings and new roads.
MOLA Headland Infrastructure archaeologists believe it is likely that people continued to live at the site until Roman times and adopted new construction techniques.
Over 300 Roman coins have been recovered while the wealth of the colony is believed to be probably based on trade, both from the nearby River Cherwell and from the road.
Roman statues found in abandoned church
The finds also included glass vessels, highly decorative pottery, jewelry, and a substance involved in the use of makeup.
The team also found a half-set of chains that they believed could suggest the presence of criminal activity or forced labor.
The layout of the site indicates that the settlement has been divided into different areas with evidence uncovered of workshops, kilns and several “beautifully preserved wells”.
The red color of the earth suggests burning activities
In part of the Blackgrounds, the earth was a blazing red to suggest activities involving burning, such as bread-making or a pottery kiln.
James West, MOLA Site Manager, said: “This is certainly one of the most impressive sites that MOLA Headland Infrastructure has discovered while working on the HS2 diet.
“A highlight for me was understanding the emerging story of Blackgrounds, which we now know spans multiple time periods.
“Discovering such a well-preserved and large Roman road, along with so many high-quality finds, was extraordinary and tells us a lot about the people who once lived here.
“The site really has the potential to transform our understanding of the Roman landscape in the region and beyond.”
Mike Court, HS2 Ltd Chief Archaeologist, said: “As we near the end of our archaeological fieldwork between London and Birmingham, we have made unprecedented discoveries, which we will continue to share with others. communities close to our work. “
He added that the Blackgrounds site “gave us a better understanding of what life was like” in the Iron Age and the Roman Age.