Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Super Saturday for Silchester's Roman record breakers

SUPER Saturday at the Olympics also proved a record breaker for the Roman town at Silchester which attracted a best-ever figure of more than 1,200 visitors.

Reading University's archaeology department has been excavating and researching one block or 'insula' of the Roman town since 1997 to unearth its story from before the Roman conquest until its abandonment in the fifth century AD and experts led site tours and gave talks during the site's annual open day.

Remarkable finds on show from last year's dig included an olive stone, along with seeds of celery and coriander, found in a Late Iron Age well dating before AD43 and showing that Britain's Iron Age generation had imported the idea of spicing up their mealtimes from the Mediterranean region. They also discovered an Iron Age 'toy' dog skeleton, similar to a modern-day poodle.

Professor Michael Fulford, Director of the University's Silchester Town Life Project, said: "The turn-out for Saturday's Open Day was just wonderful.