What Romans did near Lewes

Archeologists meet to discuss new Barcombe Roman dig.'Rob Wallace, Catherine Edwards, Paul Mason and David Millum
Archeologists meet to discuss new Barcombe Roman dig.'Rob Wallace, Catherine Edwards, Paul Mason and David Millum
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A Roman road from London to Lewes and a settlement north of Lewes are the subject of the latest archaelogical dig - and the project team are inviting readers to take part.

As Battle of Lewes finds are discovered near Landport, the Culver Archaelogical Project (CAP) embarks on a dig at Bridge Farm with £90,900 of Heritage Lottery Fund money behind the exciting endeavour.

The site was discovered in 2011 but CAP deputy archaelogical director David Millum said they kept it quiet until they were able to do a survey.

Research dating back to 1948 suggested a Roman road ran down the east side of the River Ouse near Barcombe villa and the CAP survey revealed a substantial settlement just across the river from Culver Farm.

Meanwhile it was discovered a metal detectorist had collected a wealth of finds including coins from the pre-conquest Republican era through to Gratian in the late 4th century - a 300 year time span from 1BC.

“He is a responsible metal detectorist who got permission from the farm owner and kept all his findings with rough locations as to where he found them,” said Mr Millum.

“That’s where we got our dating evidence from.

“The coins show over 300 years of potential occupancy of the site, looking at the whole of the Roman occupation of Britain.”

The main excavation, for a six week period from July 1 to August 10, will involved digging trenches where a geophysical survey shows a double ditch defensive structure.

“The project this summer has been completely funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund so we are able, as part of our brief and ethos, to get as many people from the community as we can to get involved,” said Mr Millum.

“It doesn’t matter if you have no experience as there will be training, advice and supervision going on-site.

“If you don’t want to kneel and trowel there are other things you can do like finds washing.”

Find out more about the project at the launch of the excavations at 7pm on June 7 at Barcombe Village Hall.

CAP and AOC Archaeology will be hosting a launch presentation for the Roads, Rivers and Romans: a Roman Town on the Upper Ouse?

There you will be able to meet the archaeologists and learn more about this exciting project.

To volunteer to take part in the excavations you must go to www.culverproject.co.uk where you can tell the team when you will visit and fill in a required health and safety form.