Major discovery unearthed near Evesham

A major discovery that could be nationally significant has been unearthed under a field near Evesham.

The find was made after a resident contacted Wychavon's archaeology advisor Aidan Smyth to tell him workmen had dug up what appeared to be a Roman road. After reviewing the photos of the site, Aidan identified it as a possible Roman ford.

Excavations have taken place to uncover clues to the age and identity of the creators of the road and everything currently points to it being a Roman structure that could be up to 1,900 years-old.

Not only is the road constructed like a wall with large stones laid in bands, which is a well-known Roman building technique, it is also 2.95 metres wide, which is the standard width for a single-track Roman road.

So far, no dateable finds like pieces of pottery or coins have been discovered which would usually be used to help date the site. Instead a section dug from the road is being sent off for Optically Stimulated luminescence testing, which will measure the last time the sediment was exposed to sunlight.

This process could take several months. In the meantime, the site may be reburied to protect it from deteriorating. Historic England are being kept informed in the hope they will schedule the find as an ancient monument, protecting it from future development.

Aidan Smyth, Archaeology Advisor for Wychavon, said: "At the moment everything is ticking the boxes for it to be Roman, but it still feels too good to be true, so we are keeping an open mind. It may be that we have to bury it undated, but I hope not.

"If it turns out to be medieval then it could still be considered to be nationally significant as nothing similar has been found in Britain to date. If it is a 1st century Roman structure, with its only known comparisons in Rome and Pompeii, then it is not only the only one of its kind in Britain to date making it nationally important, but you could also argue it is of international significance as we would gain more information on the feature through analysis of similar structures found in Italy." 

Customer Service Excellence for Wychavon
Work finishes on £2 million cycle hub