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Last Updated:  Friday, 14 March, 2003, 13:19 GMT
Dig uncovers city's Saxon past
Norwich dig
A medieval belt buckle was found on the old Nestlé site
Archaeologists working at Norwich's newest development have discovered some unexpected secrets about the city's past.

The team have discovered signs of a Saxon settlement - the first in Norwich.

A former Nestlé chocolate factory inside the old city walls is being demolished to make way for shops, flats, cafés and bars.

The archaeologists are working alongside demolition crews to reveal fascinating insights about Norwich's past.

David Whitemore, of Norfolk Archaeological Unit, said the team's finds were very exciting.

"Up until now no-one has known where the early Saxon settlement of Norwich was located.

Norwich dig
This fragment of pottery could be 2,500 years old
"We have found evidence now of three cellars from early Saxon buildings all of which we have dated from pottery which will potentially throw new light on the geography and topography of Norwich."

Hundreds of other artefacts are also being uncovered.

Among them are a medieval belt buckle and a silver coin, and a piece of pottery thought to be 2,500 years old.

For the archaeologists it is a race against time - soon the land will be under tonnes of concrete, and the undiscovered secrets it holds about Norwich's history will disappear.

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