£367,000 grant for Roman excavation
Last updated at 20:35, Thursday, 16 August 2012
Almost £400,000 has been secured to fund a major excavation of a key Roman settlement unearthed during the 2009 floods.
The discovery, at Papcastle near Cockermouth, is one of the largest Romano-British settlements ever found in northern England.
The lottery sum of £367,700 will allow archaeologists to discover the secrets behind the settlement, known to the Romans as Derventio.
An initial community survey revealed that the site was more extensive than previously thought.
It revealed buildings, a road, ditched enclosure and an iron working site on the south side of the River Derwent.
A large Roman building, believed to be a bath house, was found on the north side.
Artefacts including pottery, metalwork, coins and glass were found as well as the most complete Roman water mill recorded in Britain found behind the Lakes Home Centre.
Grampus Heritage and Training Ltd, which carried out a previous excavation, will lead a three-year project alongside 60 days of geophysical survey.
Sara Hilton, head of Heritage Lottery Fund North West, said: “These remains offer an unprecedented opportunity for us to explore and learn about Cumbria’s Roman history.
“The floods of 2009 had a devastating impact, and we are delighted that our funding can bring about a positive legacy from that time.”
Mark Graham, project manager for Grampus Heritage, said: “The project is a great opportunity for anybody interested in archaeology to learn new skills and make exciting new discoveries.”
Eric Apperley, of Papcastle Local History Group, said: “We are delighted to see the excavation taking place and hopefully it will add something to the history of the village and Cockermouth.”
Previously discovered artefacts will also be preserved and put on public display.
The organisation says that local volunteers will be directly involved, with training offered to those wanting to take part in the geophysical survey, excavation and recording.
Others will be given a chance to assist in the processing and assessment of excavated material.
For those not able to join the excavations, workshops will be held to share more details about the finds.
A temporary exhibition space at Cockermouth Town Hall will be set up.
A talk about what will happen on the site will be given by Mr Graham on September 7 at the Kirkgate Centre, Cockermouth, and an open day will be held at the site on September 8.
First published at 19:22, Thursday, 16 August 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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