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Bronze Age and Roman pottery found near Cambridge during A14 upgrade


A Roman bowl and an intact Bronze Age urn are among "hugely significant" artefacts found during work to upgrade the A14.

Bronze Age and Roman pottery found near Cambridge during A14 upgrade
Samian ware decorated with lion fight scene [Credit: Highways England/
MOLA Headland Infrastructure]
A team of 250 archaeologists have been on site as part of Highways England's £1.5bn scheme to improve the stretch between Cambridge and Huntingdon.


More than four tonnes of pottery fragments have been unearthed since work began two years ago. Experts said some of the pottery was of the "highest quality".

Bronze Age and Roman pottery found near Cambridge during A14 upgrade
Complete Bronze Age collared urn [Credit: Highways England/
MOLA Headland Infrastructure]
Teams led by the Museum of London Archaeology have dug more than 40 separate excavation areas covering an area of 350 hectares (3.5 sq km). The entire area was the site of a medieval village and a Roman trade distribution centre, archaeologists found.


Among the pieces recovered are a Samianware Roman bowl, depicting a male figure fighting a lion, which would have been imported from France - giving an insight into the wealth, status and travels of the people who lived here.

Bronze Age and Roman pottery found near Cambridge during A14 upgrade
Iron Age coil-built fineware pot from near Fenstanton [Credit: Highways England/
MOLA Headland Infrastructure]
"We know there is quite dense archaeology in Cambridgeshire, but there is a particular concentration near Huntingdon where we are finding some of the highest quality pottery," said Dr Sutton.


"The Roman bowl was the equivalent of their Sunday best china. It is a crazy assemblage in terms of size and quality."

Bronze Age and Roman pottery found near Cambridge during A14 upgrade
Iron Age coil-built bowl from near Fenstanton [Credit: Highways England/
MOLA Headland Infrastructure]
He said it was not uncommon to find cemeteries, but the full Bronze Age collared urn - thought to be 3,000-4,000 years old - was especially important, and that "someone had put a lot of time and effort into making it".

The items will be sorted and recorded by a 10-strong team of pottery specialists across the country over the next year.

Source: BBC News Website [October 04, 2018]

TANN

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