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Friday, 13 July, 2001, 14:37 GMT 15:37 UK
Iron age discovery at road scheme
diggers on BNRR
Finds have been made along the construction route
Relics dating back 3,000 years have been unearthed during work on a new motorway near Birmingham.

The discoveries were made by archaeologists working alongside the construction teams on the Birmingham Northern Relief Road (BNRR).

Their finds have included Bronze Age charcoal mounds, an Iron Age settlement and a Roman farmstead.

The Iron Age discovery, near Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, is the first of its kind in the area.

Work continues

All removable items are being taken away allowing work on the 27-mile-toll road to continue.

They will eventually be displayed in museums.

Previous discoveries along the route of the BNRR have included a medieval fishpond at Wishaw, Warwickshire, and a Roman burial ground containing 50 cremations at Wall, Staffordshire.

Major discovery

Dr Mike Hodder, planning archaeologist for Birmingham City Council, described the finds as a "major discovery".

He said there had been previously been strong evidence of Bronze Age settlement in the area.

But little had been known about the Iron Age.

Dr Hodder told BBC WM: ""These are very important new discoveries of Birmingham's very earliest period of history.

"Myself and the local archeologist agreed the archeology would be managed as part of the road construction.

" The excavations started a few months ago".

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