Last summer preliminary work began at the Museum in the demolition and site clearance at the rear of the building which included a full archaeological excavation of the site.
This has now been completed and the finds from the excavation have revealed some fascinating historical information. The site archaeologists, Context One, have uncovered the structure of the Roman street which was known to run through the site and we are beginning to understand how it was constructed. A ditch alongside the street has produced a considerable amount of pottery, mainly black burnished ware and animal bone. Two, linear-cut features, which probably represent bedding trenches for Roman buildings, have been revealed. Within the footprint of these buildings there are deposits containing Romano-British pottery and the remains of a Roman oven. Other finds have included two finely made bone hairpins and a piece of wall plaster with green paint. The excavation was accessible to the public from beginning to end via a viewing platform and attracted much attention. Entrance to the dig was free of charge and visitors were encouraged to engage with trained volunteers and archaeologists to learn more.
Limited archaeological finds have also been made under the Fordington Mosaic in the current temporary exhibition gallery, which has been carefully lifted and re-laid securely in the Victorian Hall as a protective measure. Further investigations will take place as the slab of the temporary exhibition gallery is removed. Recording and analysis of all archaeological finds will continue during the project.
With the Museum now decanted of objects with the majority removed off site, work has now begun on the next phase of the project. Acheson Construction have been awarded the tender for the Main Build Works.