Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service (WAAS) has revealed Roman archaeology in the first few days on site at the Roots in Time community excavation.
The excavation at Norton near Evesham got off to a great start with Roman finds and good weather.
Judging by the artefacts unearthed, we are on the edge of a 2000-year-old settlement. Several large pieces of Samian ware have been discovered by the volunteers (fancy Roman pottery mostly imported from France) alongside local pottery, several possible loom weights used for weaving fabric and other domestic finds.
The finds include a little Roman pot with the name POTTACV stamped into the base. It's rare to get a named individual in archaeology, but this star find does just that: the potter whose workshop made this Samian ware cup was called Pottacus. Yes, that's right - a potter named Pottacus! There was a workshop with this name in central France (Gaul at the time) and finds like this demonstrate the extent of trade and connectivity across Britain in the Romano-British period.
Archaeologist and project lead Nina O’Hare said: “It’s exciting the see the first glimpses of a settlement that’s lain hidden for centuries. There are hints of prehistoric settlement too, so we’re particularly interested to explore the site’s origins. As the excavation continues and the finds are studied afterwards, a more detailed picture of the people who lived here long ago will begin to emerge.”
Councillor Marcus Hart, Cabinet Member for Communities, at Worcestershire County Council said; “I’m really pleased to see the success of the Roots In Time project so far, building on our previous archaeology finds of recent years in Worcestershire, and I look forward to the updates as the project progresses.”
Volunteer slots on the excavation are now fully booked, but visitors are welcome to explore the site on our Open Day 11am-3pm on the 17 September where there will be site tours by the archaeologists, a demonstration of geophysical survey and live drone photography.
Visitors can park at The Valley and walk down to the excavation site - it will be signed and is a 20-minute stroll along a trackway then footpath. Please be aware that the final section of the route is not accessible to wheelchairs or pushchairs. There will also be a free shuttle minibus going from The Valley car park to the site, and a stall within The Valley mall with information about the excavation.
The Valley is home to a garden centre, 22 shops, 4 eateries, riverside walks, Evesham Vale Light Railway, and a children’s play area.
The project has been made possible by National Lottery players through The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England.
Worcestershire County Council is creating a new public open space at the site with woodland and wildflower meadow. Long term, Roots in Time will enhance the visitor experience through permanent interpretation sharing the heritage alongside the environmental benefits of the scheme.