Grantham southern bypass Roman and Iron Age findings

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Archaelogical investigations near Grantham have uncovered remains dating back thousands of years.

A team of archaeologists has been carrying out phase two investigations since January to ensure that any remains affected by the new road are protected or recorded.

The works carried out by Allen Archaeology have turned up finds dating back 8,000 years.

Chris Clay, director for Allen Archaeology - the firm contracted to research the phase two of the relief road’s archaeology - said:“A majority of the finds we’ve excavated so far date back to Roman and Iron Age times, predating the development of Grantham as a settlement. In fact, a Roman road, called Salters Way, passes a short distance to the south of where we’re working.

“Up to now, our main findings have been a series of pits and ditches dating back up to 2,000 years ago. A number of these contain quantities of burnt stone, possibly representing ironworking or other industrial process, while others possibly represent a former channel or watercourse that was likely a focus of activity in the Iron Age.

“We’ve also unearthed fragments of Roman and Iron Age pottery, along with several carved stone objects, including one saddle quern - a prehistoric tool much like a modern pestle and mortar which was used for crushing and preparing food.

“A few small scatters of much earlier Mesolithic flints have also been unearthed, which could be as much as 8,000 years old.

“Once we’ve finished our investigations on-site, we’ll be cataloguing, washing, drying and marking all of the various finds prior to sending them off for analysis. Once we have those results, we’ll prepare a report that discusses and interprets the evidence from the site. When the report is complete, all of the records and finds will be submitted to The Collection in Lincoln for long-term storage.”

Coun Richard Davies, Executive Member for Highways and Transport, said: “The archaeology phase of all our major road projects is always a very interesting time. The investigations we undertake before we start building new infrastructure and laying tarmac often sheds even more light on the county’s fascinating history.

“It’s also incredibly important that work is carried out to protect the heritage of the area before we start building so that future generations can better understand and learn from it.

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

The Orders for the Grantham Southern Relief Road are currently being promoted, and the next step will be a decision in late April.

The project is being led by Lincolnshire County Council and supported by South Kesteven District Council, Greater Lincolnshire LEP, Homes and Communities Agency and local businesses.

For the latest news on the Grantham Southern Relief Road, visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/majorprojects.