|20 July 2003
Prehistoric findings along the Roman Fosse Way
The construction of a newly opened stretch of the A46 between Lincoln and Newark (England), which follows the same route as the historic Roman thoroughfare, the Fosse Way, has allowed archaeologists to unearth artefacts from as far back as 2400 BCE. Many of these discoveries, which will be held in Lincoln’s new City and County Museum, shed light on some of the earliest recorded settlements in Lincolnshire.
At the Winthorpe roundabout near Newark, pits and gullies containing pottery from the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age were unearthed. The pits are evidence of historic timber fences, working shelters, and other structures.
Farther up the road at Glebe Farm, on the route of the Brough bypass, archaeologists found more Bronze Age evidence: urns containing cremation burial remains, as well as beaker pottery dating back to 2000 BCE. Cremation burial remains, these dating from between 1700 and 1500 BCE, were also discovered at the northern end of the Brough bypass.
Project leader of the City of Lincoln Archaeological Unit, Russell Trimble described them as ‘the most interesting discovery’.
"This is the most interesting find", he said. "But we have got to study the pots—we have got specialists looking at them and then we will know how rare they are."
Brough and Glebe Farm excavations also revealed evidence of Iron Age settlements from around 100 BCE.
Understanding the history of occupation at Gallows Nooking Common, located at the top of the Trent Valley and running parallel to an ancient earthwork ‘band and ditch’ that marks the local parish and county boundary, has been helped by these digs.
Mr Trimble said, "There had only been glimpses and we have now been able to complete the picture. The very interesting thing about this site is the main road crosses over the area, and it seems from the work that we carried out the settlement existed for a long time. We want to establish why the settlement came to an end—was it something to do with the Roman Road? They may have been cleared out."
At some points in the excavations, a limestone road surface layer atop a layer of broken Roman brick was found, allowing archaeologists to confirm that the A46 follows the route of the original Roman Fosse Way.
Source: Lincolnshire Echo (14 July 2003)
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