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Expert search for Roman artefacts in dig near Gainsborough

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: August 21, 2012

  • Bringing the past to life: 'Lone Legionary' Rick Berry will be lending a hand at an archaeological dig on the site of the Roman settlement of Segelocum, near Marton. Pictures: Anna Draper

  • Bringing the past to life: Historical re-enactors Rick Berry, left, and John Hudso in Littleborough Lane

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An archaeological dig costing £20,000 could unearth 2,000- year-old Roman artefacts.

Experts hope to find ancient pottery in the excavation, in a cereals field off Littleborough Close, at Marton, Gainsborough.

It will take place at the known Roman settlement called Segelocum, a few hundred yards from a Roman fort built to defend a crossing over the River Trent.

It was originally intended to have happened in late 2010 but 18 inches of snow, coupled with freezing temperatures, meant that the site was left untouched. Now, 35 volunteers and schoolchildren from the village primary school and the Trent Valley Academy in Gainsborough will join archaeologists.

It is a joint Lincolnshire County Council scheme with the Trent Vale Landscape Partnership Project. Virginia Green, project manager of the Trent Vale Landscape Partnership Project, said: "The local interest in this project is fantastic and we are delighted that there is such enthusiasm to find out about life was like here in the past."

Lincolnshire County Council historic environment officer Sarah Grundy said the site was of major strategic importance during the Roman occupation between the first and fourth centuries AD.

"The Roman road now known as Tillbridge Lane and Littleborough Lane, linked Ermine Street, north of Lincoln, (the A15), to York and crossed the River Trent west of Marton at Littleborough, where there was a Roman settlement. The Roman marching camp just to the south is designated as a nationally important scheduled monument," she said.

"We're hoping to find lots of pottery and major evidence of how the Romans lived."

Rick Berry, 53, a living history enthusiast, visits schools in his authentic Roman Legionary garb to bring history lessons to life.

"I'm really enthusiastic about the Marton dig and will be here as a volunteer because I know how strategically important the site is," said Mr Berry, from North Leverton.

"And, as I live three miles away as the crow flies, this is right on my doorstep."

The dig will run from Tuesday, September 11, to Sunday, September 23, with open days on the Saturdays and Sundays, September 15, 16, 22 and 23, during the digging.

There will be activities for children and guided tours of the site every hour between 10am and 3pm.

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