Experts stunned by Roman discoveries on Exeter student grounds
Remarkable ancient findings have been unearthed by archaeologists prior to the development of a luxurious student 130-bed construction in Exeter, including a home once owned by an affluent Roman family.
The project by AC Archaeology, based in Bradninch at Mary Arches Street and Quintana Gate, has been underway for months.
The site is one of a handful of fortresses in the UK from tens of years after the invasion of the Romans.
Alex Farnell is in charge of the excavation. He commented:
“This is largest excavation in central Exeter since the Princesshay redevelopment over 10 years ago.
“There is surprisingly very good preservation and some of the artefacts we are finding show what a wealthy Roman townhouse we have got in a city always considered to be on the fringes of the Roman Empire.”
The experts were able to see an outline, which includes remains of tiles from underfloor heating (then known as a ‘hypocaust’), as well as fragments of wall plaster and tesserae from what were once mosaic floors.
Artefacts from these remains indicate the wealth of the former residents, such as the finest Mediterranean and European pottery, an elegantly-decorated child’s bracelet, a cloak-clasp, what is left from a clay figurine, and a vessel glass.
Exeter’s RAM Museum will make a decision on which of the findings shall be given a home in its grounds. The developer would need to agree, however, being the present owner.
The work is set to be completed soon so that development on the students accommodation can continue by September.