Residents are being invited to discover Worcester’s Roman past first hand at a special event on Saturday.
Worcester City Council’s archaeology team have spent two weeks leading an excavation at Mab’s Orchard in Trotshill, Warndon Villages, to unearth a 2,000-year-old Roman farmstead.
Many pieces of Roman pottery have been found and now the public are being given the chance to see the dig for themselves on its final day, as the site opens for visitors from 10am to 3pm.
James Dinn, Worcester City Council’s Archaeological Officer, said: “The open day on Saturday will be an opportunity to come along and see the archaeologists at work on their final day of excavation and find out what we’ve discovered over two weeks of excavation. There will be activities for all and the chance to handle the finds that are coming out of the ground.”
The first signs of the Roman farmstead were discovered in 2006 when a team of archaeologists carried out a test dig at the site and found ditches containing Roman pottery.
The land is being excavated now because the neighbouring Warndon Villages allotments are set to be expanded, following approval by the City Council’s Planning Committee.
The dig has been made possible by a grant of £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and additional funds from Worcester City Council and Councillor Andy Roberts’s County Council divisional fund.
More than 30 volunteers have put spade to soil as part of the fortnight-long dig, with archaeologists from Rubicon Heritage on site to give training and guidance.
Archaeology and Geology students from Worcester Sixth Form College and pupils from Hollymount and St Joseph’s primary schools have also joined the effort, getting soil under their nails as they make a physical connection with Worcester’s ancient past.
The excavation has shown the site was a busy farmstead dating back 1,800 years to the second century AD. The Roman pottery finds include mixing bowls and tankards as well as fine tablewares.
The archaeology team have been keeping a dig diary at https://mabsarchaeology.wordpress.com/, where detailed information on their finds can be found. Live updates are also being posted on Twitter using the hashtag #mabsarchaeology.
The Open Day runs on Saturday 2 December from 10am to 3pm. Mab’s Orchard is at Trotshill in Warndon Villages. Limited parking is available in the allotments car park (WR4 0SY), and more spaces are available on Dugdale Drive.