Roman settlement found at bypass construction site

The remains of what is believed to be a 2,000-year-old Roman settlement have been uncovered at the construction site of a new bypass.

Roman settlement found at bypass construction site
Pottery was among the finds in Kingskerswell [Credit: BBC]
Artefacts discovered in Kingskerswell include fragments of pots thought to be imported from southern Europe. Trenches used for defence were also found.

Devon county archaeologist Bill Horner said it was an "exciting find".

The artefacts will eventually go on show at Exeter's Royal Albert Memorial Museum.

Locals 'Romanised'

Demolition work began in October to clear the route ready for the road linking Torbay and Newton Abbot.

The quantity and the quality of the finds suggested the people who lived there would have been part of the local ruling elite who were becoming "Romanised", Mr Horner said. 

He said: "The Romans conquered the South West and, for much of the later 1st Century AD, the area was a military zone.

"After the army moved north to conquer the rest of the population, the native elite were becoming more Romanised, and assimilating into the Roman Empire and economy."

As well as the Roman finds, archaeologists also turned up evidence of 800-year-old medieval buildings.

The discoveries are not expected to delay the construction of the £110m, 5.5km (3.4 mile) bypass, construction managers said.

Devon County Council hopes the road will be completed by December 2015.

Source: BBC News Website [December 20, 2012]

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