Monday, 20 June 2011

Event - Quarry artefacts shedding light on lives of our early ancestors (Besthorpe Quarry)

ROMAN coffin nails and Bronze Age pottery found at a Notts quarry are shedding light on the lives of our early ancestors.

The discoveries are part of collection of artefacts gathered during investigations at Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK's Besthorpe sand and gravel site near Newark.

Last year Roman bodies were unearthed during a visit by the excavation team from the University of Salford's Centre for Applied Archaeology.

A team has worked on the site since 1996, digging up, storing, cataloguing and studying as part of the ongoing programme of works required under extraction conditions.

Adam Thompson, principal archaeologist, said: "From these discoveries we think the site may have been used to supply by the Roman army, but we are yet to prove that.

"We have also found at least nine burials. In some cases only the coffin nails have survived but in others there are parts of the skeleton. In one grave we found a head and body which weren't attached."

All human remains have been stabilised at a special unit at the York Archaeological Trust where experts should be able to at least determine the sex and age of the dead before the remains are re-interred.

This year the site will be the subject of an open day on Saturday, July 23, as part of the Festival of British Archaeology, and 'community dig' will also run from August 8 to 19.

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