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Dig in Navenby hopes to uncover history of one of Britain's most important Roman roads

By Sleaford Target  |  Posted: January 17, 2013

Roman dig

Navenby Archaeology Group is to continue excavations along the High Dyke.

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A DIG for Roman remains in Navenby hopes to reveal details of daily life in 1st century Britain.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded a Your Heritage grant of £54,800 to Navenby Archaeology Group to continue excavations along the High Dyke.

The village of Navenby lies on Ermine Street, one of Britain's most important Roman roads where previous HLF-funded surveys and field-walking finds close to Ermine Street in Navenby have indicated Roman settlements.

Preparations and scheduling for the new project are now underway and it is hoped on-site work will begin in the Spring

Fiona Griffiths, a member of Navenby Archaeology Group said: "We want to find out more about the Roman history of the area and share our findings not only with the village but throughout Lincolnshire.

"Having the workshops and training means that we can spark the interest of more people - I got involved in the 2009 dig myself in that way."

The dig in 2009 revealed remains of buildings, believed to be shop-fronts with workshops and dwellings behind them. Further surveys and a test excavation suggest that similar remains could be found at the proposed site, again off Ermine Street.

The site is unusual because it has never been cultivated and so archaeologists are expecting the finds to be near the surface and well preserved.

Finds will reveal more about how the Romans lived, for instance how patterns of scattered pot could indicate dwellings or industrial areas.

Evidence of habitation likely to be found on the site includes pottery, tessara from floors, coins, glass, perhaps pieces of flint, and oyster shells, which were a common source of cheap food rather than the high status food they are nowadays.

The project will be supervised by professional archaeologists but carried out by volunteers, schoolchildren, local community groups and other amateur Lincolnshire archaeology groups. Amateur diggers will receive training in the archaeology skills needed.

Navenby Archaeology Group will work with the HLF-funded OpenLab heritage studies facility at Bishop Grossteste College in Lincoln to investigate any finds, and there will be a series of OpenLab events and local workshops in Navenby to present and explain the finds. A Roman Activity Day for the whole community will mark the end of the project.

Further information and contact details can be obtained from the Navenby Archaeology Group website www.navenbyarchgp.org

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