Archaeologists soon got busy

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A bulldozer driver levelling a field at Bapchild, near Sittingbourne, noticed something in the earth he had just churned up. It was part of a Roman pot.

Members of Sittingbourne and Swale Archaeological Research Group were quickly on the scene and excavation work was soon in progress.

Now, members number among their finds more than 20 Roman bronze coins of about the third century, a silver coin of the 13th century, Roman brooches, rings and pins and a large quantity of pottery, much of which is of the first century.

Other finds on the site, which comprises a Roman rubbish tip, wells and two graves, show the area was occupied before the coming of the Romans in A.D. 43.

Group members are also excited about a layer of flint metalling they unearthed which, judging by its shape could well be part of the original Watling Street.

Work on the site has been carried on, with the permission of Sir Leslie Doubleday, who owns the land, under the supervision of Mr. Ralph Mills, in consultation with Mr. Brian Philp, who directed the excavations at Faversham Abbey in 1965 and is currently director of excavations at Reculver.

Volunteers came from all over Kent to assist with the work, but the brunt has fallen on a few local diggers who have worked very long hours every day, often in bad weather conditions.

A few miles along the A2at Ospringe, near Faversham, members have been working on the stone Chapel site under Col. G.W. Meates this summer. Here a Roman Mausoleum is being uncovered.

Work will resume on the site this Saturday.

This article is used with the kind permission of the Kent Messenger

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