Ancient Roman settlement found from UK hotel site

A huge Roman settlement brimming with ancient artefacts has been unearthed from a site marked for a luxury hotel in Britain.

Last Updated: Nov 18, 2010, 09:02 AM IST

London: A huge Roman settlement brimming
with ancient artefacts and human remains has been unearthed from a site marked for a luxury hotel in Britain.

Archaeologists have discovered thousands of Roman items,
including 11,500 fragments of pottery, 100 coins and
jewellery, just half a metre below the surface of the site
located on the outskirts of the historic Syon Park Estate in
west London.

The experts from the Museum of London Archaeology also
found ancient burial sites containing human remains and a
Roman road from the site.

Jo Lyon, a senior archaeologist at the Museum, said:
"We were extremely fortunate to discover such a comprehensive
repertoire of Roman finds and features so close to the
surface."

"They tell us a great deal about how the people of
this village lived, worked and died," Lyon was quoted as
saying by the Daily Mail.

"The archaeology at Syon Park has given us a valuable,
rare insight into the daily life of an agricultural village on
the outskirts of Londinium (London) that would have supplied
the Roman city and provided shelter for travellers passing
through.

"It helps us build a picture of the Roman landscape
and shows how the busy metropolis of Londinium connected with
the rest of Roman Britain," he added.

The excavations at the `Grade I` listed site near
Brentford were conducted in 2008, but the fascinating
discoveries have only now been revealed, said the report.

According to the archaeologists, the Roman settlement
had remained remarkably undisturbed for almost 2,000 years and
was of local and national significance.

The site revealed a section of one of Roman Britain`s
most important roads, linking Londinium with the Roman town of Silchester and an ancient tributary of the Thames.
The artefacts found included two shale armlets, fragments
of a lava quernstone and a late Bronze Age (1000-700 BC) gold
bracelet.

The excavation also revealed that the British landscape
changed considerably under Roman influence with towns being
established, interconnected by roads, the experts said.
The new hotel, being built by Waldorf Astoria, is set
to open on the site next year and is hoping to display some of
the historic finds.

PTI