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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 June, 2004, 09:21 GMT 10:21 UK
Roman 'industrial estate' found
Archaeologists excavating a site in mid Wales
The Roman site was discovered underneath the medieval track
Experts who unearthed the best preserved example in Wales of a medieval track, have now found what they believe is the equivalent of a Roman 'industrial estate.'

Amazingly they found the Roman relics underneath the same excavation site near Borth, where they made their original discovery of a 1,000 year old track.

The small team of archaeologists claim the discovery could date back to the second or third century AD.

This would make it at least 600 years older than the track which is thought to date back to 900 or 1020AD.

Project manager Nigel Page, of Cambria Archaeology, said the Roman sites were rare because archaeologists had no way of prospecting for them.

"We've discovered what we think is a Roman kiln under the medieval track so we know that pre-dates it," he added.

Medieval track unearthed near Borth
The track is thought to be about 1,000-years-old

"We think we're starting to uncover an example of a Roman industrial site that probably did some sort of smelting because there are examples of charcoals and other heavily burnt items.

"I estimate that the new discovery could date back to the second or third century, but we'll be sending some charcoals for radio carbon dating to give us a more accurate picture.

"This is an ongoing and evolving story and we may have different information tomorrow, but it's possible there has been Roman activity that pre-dates the track.

"This development has changed our excavating strategy somewhat, but we are still planning to leave on June 18 and then everything will be covered back up."

Students from the University of Birmingham, lecturers from Lampeter University and experts from Cambria Archaeology, from Llandeilo, have been working on the project for seven days.

Samples

Of the track, Gwilym Hughes, of Cambria Archaeology, said: "We are excavating a timber trackway at Llancynfelyn, near Talybont, which is very close to Borth.

"The trackway was first examined in March when radiocarbon dates were obtained from two wood samples.

"It is the best preserved medieval track in Wales and that's because it's been preserved by the peat bog.

"It's very unusual to find a medieval track in such a well-preserved state and we've uncovered about 200 metres of the track although it probably would have stretched 2kms.

"The trackway is on edge of Cors Fochno (Borth Bog). This is an area of wetland containing both tidal and freshwater marshes and it is a site of great ecological importance."

"Timber trackways of the kind identified at Llancynfelyn have been recorded and excavated in many areas of Britain and Ireland and have a wide date range from the early Neolithic (over 5,000 years ago) through to the Medieval period.

There will be an open day at the site on Saturday between 11am and 4pm. Directions and more details of the event will be posted on Cambria Archaeology's website.


SEE ALSO:
Medieval area uncovered in city
29 May 04  |  Hereford/Worcs
Uncovering city's historic past
14 May 04  |  Northern Ireland


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