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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Archaeology students find Roman fortress Caerleon

Reconstruction of the Caerleon fortress in the Roman period, showing the buildings 
discovered by Cardiff University students. Photograph: 7reasons

Archaeology students learning how to use mapping equipment have stumbled across the site of large Roman buildings on the banks of the river Usk in Wales, right by one of the best-known and most-studied Roman sites in Britain. The structures have yet to be excavated, but one is enormous, possibly a granary or warehouse – or a palatial riverside villa.

The students located the previously unknown buildings as they were learning to use geophysical tools, which can reveal the outlines of buried structures, in fields by the Roman fortress at Caerleon – claimed by some romantics as King Arthur's Camelot. The area has been excavated and studied for two centuries.
The buildings lie outside the fortress walls, where archaeologists believed there was nothing except a few outbuildings and stores.

More answers may emerge in the next weeks, as the students join staff and a team from University College London, in a six-week dig.

The dig, which will continue until mid-September, will be open to the public with daily tours, and displays of finds. The excavation will be updated regularly at the Council for British Archaeology's website.


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