The Wokingham Paper

Students step back in time during archaeology dig


Historical artefacts were uncovered by inquisitive students during a special archaeological dig last month – and there is the chance that more could be uncovered over the next week.

The treasures of the past include a fragment of a glass container, the base of an imported pot and a silver-coated needle.

They were found by University of Reading students during their annual dig at the ancient Silchester Roman City site. This year, the focus is on the bathhouse.

The dig started on Monday, June 17 and continues until Saturday, July 13 – it is opened to the public on Saturday (July 6) for guided tours and special talks.

Professor Mike Fulford said: “The excavation at Silchester is always an invaluable opportunity for our students to gain hands-on experience of a real-world working dig.

“This year, we will be re-opening and expanding two of the trenches we worked on last year, as well as starting a brand-new area inside and to the west of the structure.

“We will be opening up a new and well-preserved area of the bath building, something that should definitely excite our visitors. Elsewhere, we will be excavating deeper into Roman levels on the outside of the building.”

In past years, teams of students have unearthed dozens of artefacts including Roman jewellery, keys, coins and dishes.

The excavation gives them hands-on experience of a range of techniques, from recognising archaeological contexts and features on the site through to cleaning, excavating and recording them.

Saturday’s open day runs from 10am to 4pm. Children can enjoy face painting and trying their hand at archeology.

Visitors travelling by car should use the postcode RG7 2HP and using a car park in Wall Lane, a 10-minute walk from the centre of the Roman town.

For more details, visit

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