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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 January 2007, 09:39 GMT
Ancient homes found in road dig
Roundhouse - generic
The finds are thought to link to a larger settlement
Ancient settlements from Roman times and the Iron Age have been found by the side of a major road development.

Archaeologists were called in to survey the A66 in North Yorkshire to ensure nothing valuable would be destroyed.

Their work has now uncovered the remains of a roundhouse, square buildings, ditches and pits by the Melsonby crossroads, by Scotch Corner.

The finds are thought to link to a larger settlement which would have been on the other side of the road.

The Highways Agency wants to upgrade the section of road, between Scotch Corner and Carkin Moor, from a single to dual carriageway.

The project is expected to cost 22m and should be finished by the end of the year.

Roman route

The present A66 follows an original Roman route, which dates back to the first century AD.

Experts using metal detectors in the nearby Black Plantation, in Co Durham, have also found a silver christening spoon dating back to the 17th or 18th century.

They said a summary of the findings would be released to the public when the investigations were complete.

Anything of importance would be saved and could be handed to a local museum.

Highways Agency project manager Lynne Biddles said: "It's fantastic that we've been able to uncover all these settlements and artefacts ahead of these schemes.

"We can now piece together the history of this area and preserve it for the wider community to enjoy."

Workmen unearth ancient village
22 Jul 06 |  Humber
22m dual carriageway work begins
31 Jul 06 |  England

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