Heatwave Helps to Uncover Some of Wales' Hidden Historic Gems; PARCHED LAND REVEALS IRON AGE AND ROMAN REMAINS

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), August 9, 2013 | Go to article overview

Heatwave Helps to Uncover Some of Wales' Hidden Historic Gems; PARCHED LAND REVEALS IRON AGE AND ROMAN REMAINS


Byline: ELENA CRESCI elena.cresci@walesonline.co.uk

FOR years they've lay undiscovered under the fields of the Welsh countryside.

But the recent heatwave has uncovered hidden architectural gems which shed new light on Wales' past. Lost beneath Welsh fields for thousands of years, archaeologists for the Royal Commission were amazed as parched grassland revealed marks from long-lost buildings from the Roman and Iron ages across the length and breadth of Wales.

Among the amazing discoveries made during the heatwave were a previously unrecorded Roman fort, a Roman marching camp and scores of Iron Age farmsteads and forts. The parchmarks were revealed through a set of aerial surveys over parts of Wales, including Cardiff and Pembroke Castles as well as Wrexham, Pwllheli, Haverfordwest and Chepstow.

Aerial archaeologist Dr Toby Driver from the Royal Commission chose a number of carefully targeted locations across the country, where drought conditions were most severe, to see if cropmarks would unveil any hidden secrets about Wales' past.

He said one of the most significant discoveries made through his reconnaissance missions were a major Roman fort complex discovered near Brecon and a Roman marching camp uncovered near Caerwent.

Dr Driver came across the rare discovery after acting on a tip-off from Roman scholar Dr Jeffrey Davies.

He said: "Jeffrey Davies noticed an anomaly in Roman coin finds near Brecon, reported under the Portable Antiquities Scheme. He had a hunch that the coins, of the Emperor Claudius, could indicate a lost early Roman fort, and passed a grid reference to me the day before a flight into central Wales.

"I couldn't believe my eyes when the pilot and I approached the location and saw fading cropmarks of a major Roman fort complex, lost beneath fields and a road for nearly 2,000 years. …

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Heatwave Helps to Uncover Some of Wales' Hidden Historic Gems; PARCHED LAND REVEALS IRON AGE AND ROMAN REMAINS
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