Historic finds in new water main dig

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 July 2012

The 'green man' found during the excavations

The 'green man' found during the excavations

Bristol Water/Border Archaeology

AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL discovery has been unearthed at the site of a routine water main replacement in Somerset.

Bristol Water has found a piece of horse furniture known as the ‘green man’ from excavations on Axbridge Moor during a £1.3million water pipe upgrade in the area.

Archaeologists employed by the company during the work discovered the item, thought to be a decorative part of a horse’s saddle, reins or headgear and a famous, mysterious pagan symbol of fertility.

A shard of pottery dated between 100-300BC was also found, as well as 15th century pottery and evidence of an early harbour.

The unearthing of horseshoes will also help history buffs learn about farming through the ages, providing evidence of agriculture in the area having existed for 10 centuries.

A report on the findings by expert archaeologist Neil Shurety of Border Archaeology, said: “This rare assemblage of horseshoes will enable the dating of agricultural activity and land usage across the site.

“Excavation of archaeological features along the pipeline route has revealed a landscape that has evolved during periods of climatic fluctuation and changing political and commercial pressures.”

Bristol Water spokesman Jeremy Williams said: “The archaeologists are excited about their findings, which were made despite terrible weather hampering the work.

“All the discoveries have been carefully photographed, documented and preserved.”

Some of the finds will be on show at Axbridge Town Hall in The Square on July 26 at 7.30pm.

There will be a presentation to Axbridge Archaeological and Local History Society on the preliminary results.

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