Roman link to Lowestoft high school
09:20 16 December 2010
An archaeological dig in Lowestoft may have revealed tantalising evidence of a Roman farm which could be linked to Emperor Claudius.
Archaeologists from Suffolk County Council believe they have found the remains of a Roman farm on land earmarked to become the new Pakefield High School.
A team of about half a dozen relic hunters have been working on the site by Pakefield Middle School since October and finished their extensive excavations on Friday.
Although the team are now compiling their results they believe some post holes may be evidence of a farm outbuilding such as a sheep shed dating from the Roman occupation.
And the archaeologists also found evidence of a clay quarry, which could have been used by the Romans to make pottery.
The Romans would have settled in the area after the conquest of Britain by the Emperor Claudius, who was famous for his stutter, and four legions of fearsome Roman soldiers in 43AD.
Simon Cass from the archaeological service field team who led the dig, said: “We appear to have some kind of evidence of a Roman field system.
“We are not talking about a swanky Roman villa here but more likely a small farm hold where a family of about half a dozen may have lived.”
Mr Cass and his team may have sympathised with the Roman farmer’s dislike of the British weather as the team of archaeologists had to dig in “Somme” like conditions during the excavation.
The evidence of a clay quarry may date from Roman up to medieval times.
To help prove the Roman theory, the team have sent clay and soil samples and seed remains off for testing.
The official report into the Pakefield dig will be released in three to six months time with a copy being sent to Pakefield Middle School, whose pupils visited test pits.
Suffolk County Council carried out the dig as part of plans to build the 900 pupil Pakefield High School which will replace the middle school from 2011 as part of a switch to a two tier education system.