Four adults found on Roman site

This Is Wiltshire: One of the bones found is analysed One of the bones found is analysed

THE developer that owns the land in Staverton where Roman remains were discovered has revealed more details about the artefacts.

Persimmon Homes says the discoveries will not affect its plan to build around 100 houses on the site, despite the finds indicating a wider Roman settlement.

The excavation, which involved around 20 archaeologists on site, started on October 1 and finished on November 23. Cotswold Archaeology is cleaning and analysing the artefacts. Once all the post-excavation work is finished, they will be handed over to Trowbridge Museum.

Gary Male, technical director for Persimmon Homes Wessex, said: "Full post-excavation analysis has not yet commenced so all findings are provisional at this stage.

"However, we believe the remains of four adults have been discovered at the site which we understand date back to the Late Roman period (3rd to 4th centuries AD).

"The burials are not part of a formal cemetery as such, but represent a common type of Late Roman burial where individuals are buried within the periphery of settlements adjacent to field boundary ditches and tracks.

"In addition, a large collection of pottery and animal bone has been recovered, which is fairly typical for a site of this date and location.

"Roman field boundary ditches and a track have also been discovered, but there is no evidence of occupation dating to this period. However there are remains of an earlier prehistoric settlement on either side of an old watercourse."

Persimmon is involved in pre-application discussions with West Wiltshire District Council and hopes to submit a planning application in the next few months.

Mr Male said: "The discovery of a small number of Roman burials was not unexpected and will not affect our plans with regard to developing housing on the site.

"We have worked closely with Cotswold Archaeology to facilitate the dig in Blacklands and provided an extension to allow them to complete the record of findings to their satisfaction.

"The building scheme will have a mix of private and affordable homes ranging from one to four bedroom properties.

"The link road has full planning permission and we anticipate ground works will begin for that in the new year."

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