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Roman and Bronze Age artefacts discovered on Bristol university construction site


Roman jewellery, coins and Bronze Age pottery have been discovered on a university's construction site.

Roman and Bronze Age artefacts discovered on Bristol university construction site
Two of the coins discovered [Credit: UWE Bristol]
The finds were unearthed on the Hillside Gardens building site in Frenchay - the University of the West of England's (UWE) new sports centre which is due to open in the autumn.

The items found during excavation work for the facility included Bronze Age pottery, a Roman bracelet, coins and a necklace bead from the Iron Age.

Archaeologists from Cotswolds Archaeology made the discovery earlier in 2018 and also uncovered a Roman settlement nearby - apparently a farmstead - which included a circular ditch that experts believe was a roundhouse.

Shards of pottery were also found there, believed to date back to a time between the late Bronze and early Iron ages. Pottery from between the first and fourth centuries AD was also discovered.

Two copper-alloy coins from the site are of particular interest to archaeologists. Tom Brindle, who is Post-Excavation Manager at Cotswold Archaeology said: "Many rural Roman sites in Britain do not produce coins, however Hillside Gardens falls within the part of the country where coins at rural sites are much more common. One of the coins is of Emperor Crispus, and was struck at a mint in London between AD 318 and 324.

"The occupants may have been familiar with their use for making purchases at markets but barter and the fulfilment of social obligations may well have served as methods of exchange alongside coinage too."

Peter Fleming, who is Professor of History at UWE Bristol, said: “This is a very rare find. Bristol is widely believed to have originated long after the date to which these finds have been allocated - the Romans seem not to have realised how much scope there was on the site where Bristol later grew up, and there does not seem to have been a major villa site around here. So, the farm to which these finds belonged would have been a smaller occupancy than a villa.”

Source: Bristol Live [July 28, 2018]

TANN

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