Archaeologists unearth exciting Roman finds at site of ‘upmarket’ villas

Published on: 02 Dec 2013

View-of-some-of-the-buildings-at-Emersons-Green-settlementroman road emersons green

ARCHAEOLOGISTS are thrilled with the discoveries they have made at the site of a Roman villa in Emersons Green.

The haul includes bronze brooches, babies’ bracelets, rings and necklaces, coins and pottery.

The dig, carried out before the development of homes at Emersons Green East goes ahead, also revealed the remains of cremations and burials at the site. Soil samples suggest there used to be metal working and textile dying carried out in the industrial buildings.

It is thought that there were at least two high class Roman buildings at the settlement, which was unearthed in 2010. Excavation was carried out by experts from Wardell Armstrong Archaeology between 2012 and 2013, funded by developers Taylor Wimpey.

Helen Martin-Bacon, lead archaeologist for the project, said the treasure trove found at the four hectare site at Hallen Farm, near Howsmoor Lane, had been unexpected.

“There was nothing to indicate the site held such significant remains, even though previous evaluation works had been carried out, and it was a complete surprise to everyone concerned,” she said.

Her team will now study and date their finds, which will eventually go to local museums.

Paul Driscoll, South Gloucestershire Council’s Archaeology and Historic Environment officer said: “This is one of the most important archaeological discoveries in South Gloucestershire in recent times. It adds considerably to a growing body of knowledge about Roman settlement, industry and communication in the region and demonstrates that significant sites still await discovery.”

A new section of Roman road was found, linking the two buildings. It ran p[arallet to the Roman road that runs from Bath to Keynsham, past Siston and on through Yate towards Berkeley.

In 1997, during the development of the first part of Emersons Green, archaeologists unearthed a sarcophagus containing the remains of two people under the field of the former Chase School site. The sarcophagus is displayed in Bristol City Museum.

Construction work will begin on site at Emerson’s Green in 2014, once the detailed planning has been granted.

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