Despite its undoubted influence on the town, very little is known about Southwell's Roman settlement and how it developed into the later periods. This June staff and students from the University of Nottingham’s Department of Archaeology will be digging around the minster town in the hopes of discovering more. Dr Will Bowden whose project on the Roman town of Caistor was recently showcased on a special episode of the Time Team, said “ We didn’t find the Iron Age levels at Caistor but perhaps we will this time!”
But the project is not just about the Romans, Dr Naomi Sykes is interested in the medieval period and Dr Chris King is a specialist in Post-medieval architecture; he will be studying the National Trust’s Workhouse with buildings expert David Taylor.
The team will be operating in Southwell and the surrounding areas 4th-18th June, working in the gardens of local homeowners. Dr Sykes said 'The whole community has got behind the project and we have access to numerous gardens to investigate. The excavations will be on a very small scale, a 1m x 1m test pit, in an area designated by the homeowner, and we will return the land to its original state when we have finished. If however we uncover anything of historic interest, we will continue at the discretion of the homeowner.'
As well as being able to observe archaeologists at work, homeowners will also be invited to participate in the excavation, and to attend the end of excavation party where the results will be unveiled.
The project will continue next year and if you own a property in the Southwell region and are interested in having a test-pit dug in your garden, you are invited to contact Naomi Sykes directly: 01636 813460, firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss convenient days and times.
Posted on Thursday 26th May 2011