Sunday, 24 July 2011

Festival of British Archaeology - Doncaster CCQ

On Saturday 23rd July the excavations for the new Doncaster Cultural Quarter were opened to the public as part of the Festival of British Archaeology.  This site represents a huge part of Doncaster history dating between the Roman Danum to the World War I practice trenches.
Section of trench looking North East
The greatest area of importance on the site is the Romano-British cremation site in the south eastern area of the site.  This site is slightly south of the Roman town and main road to Lincoln (Lindum Colonia) it is also quite close to the possible Roman road from Templeborough in Sheffield. The archaeologists think there are around 15-20 cremations on site.  These cremations are believed to date between 140-170 AD and the urns are believed to be St. Albans ware. They only have until the end of August to fully excavate these finds which seems measly to say how important these finds are!

Items brought by Doncaster Musuem
Doncaster Museum brought several items to show the public representations of finds from the site.  These included Roman and World War I items such as funerary goods and medals. The recently found Roman glass jug was not on display.

Archaeologists from SYAS gave guided talks throughout the day which were very informative and useful for deciphering this site.  The ground is mainly sandy pebbles which help to differentiate between the natural and man made features 

The World War I trench remains are believed to date from the latter stages of the war when Doncaster was home to many troops preparing to leave for the front.  Remains of wooden planking could be seen during the excavation.

The site has seen several other uses including a horse-fair known as Glasgow Paddocks, bus station and college buildings.

The Romano-British cremations being excavated (looking South east)

Hopefully there will be another open day before the site is built on and the potential for finds is lost for another generation.


  1. It's a pity this event wasn't better publicised - this is the first I've heard about it...a week too late.

  2. True, I only heard about it on the Thursday. Next thing I know is happening in Doncaster is on 3rd and 4th September with Romans doing marches and displays from the Minster.
    Dave C