January 26, 2021 5.03 pm This story is over 34 months old

2,000-year-old artefacts found during Spalding road works

Some amazing pieces from the Iron Age

Thousands of ancient artefacts, some of which date back as early as the Iron Age, have been discovered near Spalding.

The unique finds were spotted along the route of the Spalding Western Relief Road, including a medieval thimble and a Roman quern stone.

It came as a result of construction on the northern section of the £100m relief road, which was approved in 2019.

Allan Archaeology were contracted to research the site and locate any artefacts, with some dating to the Saxon period and others even going as far back as the Iron Age.

A Roman quern stone that would have been used to grind grain to make flour.

Topsoil was removed from the area before excavating and cleaning what was dug up and found, leaving scientists to study all the samples to create a picture of our local environment.

Among the notable finds were a Roman quern stone used for grinding grain to make flour, a medieval knife handle made from bone, and a thimble made of copper alloy.

Ian Marshman, historic environment officer for Lincolnshire County Council, said the highlight was an unusual Roman oven, known as a tannur.

One of the finds was a replica Roman oven. | Photo: Worcestershire County Council

Dr Marshman said:”Whilst archaeologists have previously found small parts of these Roman ovens before, this is thought to be one of the best preserved examples ever found in Britain.

“The archaeology team hopes to reconstruct the oven’s shape and analyse its ash to better understand how it was used and what might have been cooked in it – giving us a fascinating insight into Roman industry and trade.

The base of the Roman oven that was found.

Dr Marsham continued: “The team found evidence for activity again in the medieval period, once the area was no longer under water.

“Some pottery from the Saxon period was also found, which could mean that people returned to the site even earlier.”

A medieval thimble was found, though it has a few signs of wear and tear over the years.

Cllr Richard Davies, executive member for highways at the council, said: “When building a new road, it’s not just about constructing bridges and laying tarmac.

“First and foremost, it’s really important to understand and protect the area’s heritage so future generations can learn from and understand its rich history.

“It’s truly amazing when you stop and think about what’s underneath the ground below your feet.”