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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 March, 2005, 19:00 GMT
Archaeological discoveries shown
Several artefacts discovered during an archaeological dig in Warwickshire have been unveiled for the first time.

The finds, which include part of an Iron Age kiln, suggest a wealthy family lived at the site at Ryton-on-Dunsmore in 200 BC.

Archaeologists made the discoveries on behalf of the Highways Agency, ahead of a 3m road-building project on the A45.

Fragments of older Neolithic and Bronze Age pottery and flint tools were also found at the site, the agency said.

Those discoveries date from as far back as 3000 BC and indicate the site held special significance almost 2,500 years before the Iron Age began.

Finds 'atypical'

A brooch found with the remains of the kiln is thought to be the first of its kind to be discovered in Warwickshire.

The excavations also revealed an unusual C-shaped ditch with an eastern entrance, which is likely to have been of ceremonial or religious significance.

Other finds included some quern stones used for grinding cereal seeds into flour.

Stuart Palmer, who directed the project on behalf of Warwickshire Museum Archaeology Projects Group, said: "Several of these Iron Age finds at Ryton-on-Dunsmore are atypical in this area.

"That makes it a distinct possibility that this site was the residence of people of an unusual rank, perhaps a local leader or other high-status family."

Highways Agency spokesman Andrew Butterfield said: "Whenever we find archaeological remains on road projects, we work closely with archaeologists to ensure those are preserved for the community."

The finds were unveiled at the Warwickshire Museum Field Services in Warwick on Tuesday.

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09 Aug 03 |  West Midlands

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