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

Yesterday, 20:00
Brian, Jan and George Scott (Rich's Cider) Kenny Jones, rotary president Jane Gibbs and rotarian Ashley Edwards. Photo by Mike Lang.

THOUSANDS of pounds have been presented to charity following a traditional Somerset fundraiser.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:00
Warrant Officer Tony Bird.

A BURNHAM leader’s contribution to Somerset Air Cadets has seen him appointed to a prestigious national role.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:46

SLIPROADS will be closed on the M5 in Somerset from tonight (Monday).

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00
Derrick Cooper receives his plaque. Photo by Mike Lang.

CAST your mind back 25 years. Madonna’s Vogue was at number one in the UK charts, Britain was hit by rioting over the poll tax, and Sir Alex Ferguson was still a month away from winning his first trophy as Manchester United manager.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:30

YOUNG people accessing respite care in North Somerset could be given the chance to learn new skills and become more independent when a new service is introduced next year.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00
CJ Crawley, pictured with his winning Film Weston logo.

AN INNOVATIVE new Weston event has been given an ‘instantly memorable’ look, thanks to the creative efforts of a talented student.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:30
Photo submitted to iwitness by Martin Aldous.

THOUSANDS of people were splattered in paint on Weston beach yesterday (Sunday) - but it was all for a good cause.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:15
Avon and Somerset Constabulary want to speak to two men in relation to the attempted burglary in Kingston Seymour, North Somerset.

POLICE are appealing for help in tracking down two men in connection with an attempted burglary.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00
Youngsters enjoy learning about the rescue boat.

HUNDREDS of people enjoyed a fascinating insight into the work of a lifesaving Somerset charity during an open day on Saturday.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

A support service which provides companions for older people hopes to double the number of people it can help thanks to a £15,000 grant.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 7°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