Friday, 12 October 2012

News - Pits reveal signs of Roman past (Bingham)

Archaeologists believe they may have found the remains of a Roman settlement in the centre of Bingham.

Mr Rowan Bird, 59, of Abbey Road, Bingham, looks for artefacts in Cherry Street as part of the Roots of Bingham project.Part of a timber frame was found by volunteers helping the Bingham Heritage Trails Association’s Roots of Bingham project between Cherry Lane and Fosters Lane.

About 25 volunteers have helped to dig more than 40 test pits in gardens since April. The digging will finish next year. The volunteers hope to dig 60 pits in total.

The project has unearthed pottery and artefacts dating from Roman and Medieval periods, as well as more recent finds.

Mr Peter Allen, of the association, said the timber frame was significant as Bingham was previously believed to have Anglo Saxon origins.

“We are getting a nice story about the origins of Bingham. There’s a Roman origin to the town we hadn’t anticipated,” Mr Allen said.

Mr Geoff Ashton, also a member of the association, said most of the Roman artefacts dated from the 1st Century. He said there was evidence of a bottle-making industry and ironwork in the town centre.

The association expects to find about 15,000 artefacts by the time the project ends. About four to five thousand have already been found.

Association members can usually identify if artefacts are Roman, Medieval or later but large, significant finds will be analysed by experts to get a more precise date and to gather as much information as possible before results are published.

Full results are due in 2015.

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