|10 January 2004
Iron Age find at business park
Experts have uncovered evidence of Iron Age houses and pottery dating from around 100 BCE at a major Tyneside (England) development. Artefacts, described as being of significant archaeological interest, have been found since the works began over two years ago. However this latest area to be examined has caused the most excitement.
Senior keeper of field archaeology at Tyne & Wear Museums, Steve Speak, said: "This site, which is south of the new SAGE development, has produced not only pottery, but also so-called Quern Stones, which were used to grind wheat. The settlement shows three phases of occupation over a period of about 75 years. We know this because our calculations show that a house would last around 25 years before it started to deteriorate and needed to be built again."
Drawings of the site show a large round house about 10 metres in diameter, surrounded by an enclosure which was likely to be used to keep in livestock. Also featured are the remains of houses from previous phases of occupation along with ditches used for drainage and the disposal of waste.
Tyne and Wear's county archaeologist is currently deciding on the scope of a full excavation of the site.Mr Speak added: "The good thing about this area is that there has been little or no ploughing over the site which so often wipes out any archaeology under the soil. Any artefacts we uncover here should be of good quality".
Source: BBC News (6 January 2004)
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