College pulls plug on archaeology study

11:00 04 March 2011

South Terrace, WsM. Excavations at the back of Weston College. Finding of Roman coines and skeleton.; 29-09-09

South Terrace, WsM. Excavations at the back of Weston College. Finding of Roman coines and skeleton.; 29-09-09

Archant

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have been left with just a ‘tantalising glimpse’ of a Roman settlement in Weston after a study into their find was called off.

Weston College has said it will not pay for a full study of a skeleton, coins and stone foundations uncovered during a six-week dig at its Knightstone Campus.

The decision comes despite archaeologists proclaiming the dig as the first clear evidence of a Roman settlement in the town.

This week, the college, which paid for the initial excavation under a planning agreement to refurbish its Hans Price building, said ‘the investigation was complete’.

Principal Dr Paul Phillips said: “The resultant report (of the dig) was crucial to the way the college would move ahead with development.

“In part, it concluded ‘the quality and importance of the archaeology identified on the site, whilst having considerable local and potentially some regional significance, is not judged to be of national importance and therefore is not considered to justify preservation at the expense of future development’.

“On the basis of this information, the college concluded that the investigation was complete.”

The excavation, carried out in South Terrace in 2009, unearthed walls and clay floors as well as a preserved skeleton in a crouched burial position outside the foundations.

Tests later showed the skeleton belonged to a slender man aged between 35 and 45. It was thought he was probably a slave due to the skeleton’s diseased condition.

Coins, metalwork and animal bone were also found, along with Romano-British-style pottery, including pots made in Oxford and tableware thought to be imported from France.

Avon Archaeological Unit (AAU) director Andrew Young this week responded to the college’s decision not to fund a study into the items.

He said: “The decision not to conduct a study into the items represents a missed opportunity. I’m disappointed.

“We could have learnt so much more from the excavation and found out the extent of the settlement and how it served the local area, but instead we are left with just a tantalising glimpse.”

The unit has passed its research on to the college and North Somerset Council, while the items, including the skeleton, will probably be given to the town’s museum.

Meanwhile, work can now commence on the refurbishment of the Hans Price building, which will be used to teach performing arts to students.

0 comments

Other News Stories

19 minutes ago
The Winter Gardens, pictured in the 1930s. Picture: Weston Museum.

IT ALL happened very quickly in a move which one councillor branded ‘a stitch-up’, but the £1 sale of Weston’s Winter Gardens to Weston College has now been confirmed.

Read more
09:39
The Let's Save Birnbeck Pier group want to purchase the site.

CAMPAIGNERS want to buy Weston’s Birnbeck Pier and island and restore it to ensure it is open to the public – and the council’s deputy leader says he will ask the authority to consider forcing through the sale, if the group can provide a viable business case.

Read more

A MAN from Weston died after being struck by a train in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday).

Read more
The Post Office in Regent Street was closed unexpectedly yesterday.

THE Post Office in Regent Street will be open as usual for the next two days, despite being forced to close unexpectedly yesterday (Monday).

Read more

SCHOOLS in North Somerset could face multiple Ofsted inspections in one day to ensure its findings are reliable – but the National Union of Teachers (NUT) has said the plans are ‘punishing’ schools for the watchdog’s own failings.

Read more
15 minutes ago
The original diversion route proposed by Somerset County Council.

A DIVERSION taking motorists on a nine-mile trip to get around roadworks between Burnham and Berrow will go ahead after all, council officials have confirmed.

Read more
A new 999 response system is being trialled.

A REDUCTION in wasted ambulance journeys and improving emergency care are two factors behind a pilot scheme which is being launched in the South West.

Read more

STAFF at a nursing home have been praised by inspectors 
following a review of its services.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 5°C

Most Read News

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition today E-edition

Somerset's trusted business finder