Funding will help archaeologists shed light on Roman town at Caistor St Edmund

Many people visit the site to watch the archaeologists at work.

Many people visit the site to watch the archaeologists at work. - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

Archaeologists hope to further unearth the secrets of an ancient settlement thanks to a grant of more than £80,000.

Work going on at the site at last years dig.

Work going on at the site at last years dig.

For the past 10 years, a community archaeology group has been looking to better understand the Roman town at Caistor St Edmund, near Norwich.

And since then it has made a catalogue of fascinating discoveries including skeletons, coins and remains of buildings.

Now, the Caistor Roman Project (CRP) aims to investigate the surrounding area following an £84,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The next dig is due to take place towards the end of August and will explore a section of trench on the northern side of the town.


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Project manager Mike Pinner said: 'We have already dug a number of test pits and there has been a lot of items found there already, particularly a number of Roman coins.

'The concentration of coins is unusual and this could indicate that there was a lot of buying or selling going on there.'

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It is one of three defensive trenches thought to have been constructed in the 2nd century by the Romans.

The walls, meanwhile, are believed to have been built 150 years later.

So far, 96 coins dating back to the 4th century have been discovered on the site.

Mr Pinner added: 'The test pits allowed us to see that occupation at the northern end of the site, where we will dig, fit nicely with a phase of increased activity in the town in the 4th century.

'We need to find out what's going on here, outside of the town walls, in the 4th century and how that fits with our other findings.'

The excavation is part of a three-year project, which also aims to investigate how the Roman town eventually became the existing village.

The lottery money will also be used to help fund workshops and training for the group's many volunteers, and employ professional archeologists.

Alan Pask, chairman, said: 'We are delighted to receive this support from HLF, which is a mark of the progress we have made as a locally based community archaeology group in recent years.

'This grant will enable us to take on board new members and to fully involve people from the surrounding local community, a great way to share in understanding the story under our feet.

'We are hoping people will join us for the workshops and join the excavation team.'

Back in 2012, volunteers and experts discovered evidence of the Anglo-Saxon occupation of the town.

Two skeletons, thought to have been from the late Roman period, were also uncovered.

For more information about the project and the group, visit www.caistorromanproject.org

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