Soham allotment sold turns up fascinating glimpse into Roman past

12:13 27 December 2012

An aerial view of the dig site in Soham

An aerial view of the dig site in Soham

Archant

EXCAVATIONS at a housing development in Soham continue to turn up interesting finds according to archaeologists.

A Roman settlement has been discovered on former allotment land off Fordham Road by archaeologists commissioned to excavate the site by Hopkins Homes, which is hoping to build 96 new homes on the site.

Archaeology Solutions is carrying out the excavations and many items discovered so far point to an important Roman settlement.

A spokesman said: “One Roman ditch has produced considerable quantities of a burnt spelt wheat crop - our sample alone contains around 10,000 seeds.

“It is believed that the crop may have been burnt during the drying process, perhaps whilst in the closely situated corn-dryer, and then disposed of in the ditch.

“Also of interest so far is a small amount of the fodder crop alfalfa (lucerne) which has been identified in a pit located in the south of the site.

“Although common to find on French and German sites, lucerne is quite unusual in a British context suggesting Soham’s Roman settlers were instrumental in introducing the crop to the area.”

Among dozens of items discovered on the site are large pots and tiles, a decapitated body and a small Roman blade, Roman key, comb and pendant, a Bronze Age scraper and a Roman ring.

The site shows that occupation continued at the site from the first century AD right through the 400 years of Roman settlement.

0 comments

More news stories

10:02
Participants at the human trafficking round-table meeting in Peterborough.

The wide extent of human slavery in parts of East Anglia was revealed at a meeting between representatives of the catholic church, local police forces and the office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner last week.

47 minutes ago
Soham VC Young Musician. The three winners at Key Stage 3: Dominic Wills, Young Musician of the Year, Rebecca Revie first recipient of the Stephen Kenna award and Zara Minns, Young Voice.

Talented musicians from around East Cambridgeshire had their musical mastery recognised as Soham Village College’s Young Musician of the Year competition returned for its 21st year.

Yesterday, 10:19
Two Ely crews were called to this road traffic collision earlier this morning after a lorry had collided with a tree on the A10 near Stetham.

Two people have been injured after a lorry crashed into a tree on the A10 near Ely.

Yesterday, 10:19
The lorry which overturned on the A142 near Mepal yesterday

A Chatteris man was hospitalised yesterday after the 32 tonne lorry he was driving overturned on the A142 near Mepal.

Most read stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ely Standard e-edition E-edition
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up