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Archaeo News 

10 January 2004
Ancient ironworks dug out in England

Leominster's biggest-ever archaeological excavation uncovered important clues about the Herefordsire (England) town's long history. The dig, covering half an acre of a development site, revealed that Leominster was a hive of industry from a very early period. A large volume of iron working slag found below ground could date from pre-Roman times.
     Before the dig began underground scanning equipment revealed `hot spots'. "When we excavated the area we found the huge dump of iron waste which must be the remains of a very large-scale iron working enterprise.We are awaiting the results of dating tests and, for the time being, our best guess that it could be pre Roman. The area seems to have been the focus of an iron-working industry for many centuries," said archaeology team leader Huw Sherlock.
     A number of other trades, including flax processing and tanning, were known to have been carried on in ancient times in the area which may have been the town's first 'industrial estate'.
     The major dig provided a "fascinating glimpse" into Leominster's past, said Huw of Westhope, the director of Archenfield Archaeology. The finds are now being analysed by experts but there is no doubt in Huw Sherlock's mind that the dig uncovered some important pieces of Leominster's historical `jigsaw'.

Source: This is Hereford (9 January 2004)

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