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Roman treasures unearthed on route of bypass; Excitement as artefacts discovered by experts.

Byline: ERYL CRUMP

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have unearthed evidence of Roman-era occupation on a new bypass route.

Gwynedd Archaeological Trust (GAT) officials have been working prior to the start of construction of the pounds 35m Porthmadog bypass.

They have discovered evidence of a stone kiln and pieces of roofing tiles dating back centuries.

There had been concern work may have damaged an old Roman bath house in the area but Welsh Assembly officials stressed this was not so.

Experts are working closely with contractors Balfour Beatty and Jones Bros, who stripped back topsoil at Bryn y Fynwent for examination.

Project manager Wyn Daniels said: "The archaeological team is very excited about the finds. It has been extremely interesting working with them and learning how key structures were constructed in the past.

"It is amazing to think relics from the Roman era have survived so long."

Pieces of Roman era pottery have also been recovered and will be investigated at a later date.

Archaeologist John Roberts, said: "The origin and date of these latest features are unclear and require further analysis, but association with a former Roman bath house has been suggested and the kiln may have been used for firing ceramic tiles.

"The shape of the slates is unusual in that they are a diamond/leaf shape, unlike modern roof slates. GAT will liaise with a slate specialist to determine their exact origin and use."

Referring to the bath house a Welsh Assembly spokesman said: "Archaeologists have been in attendance near the mound since work began there two months ago and no work has been done without their agreement.

"They advised the Roman bath house site is slightly further north than the work carried out on the mound and is located partly under the existing road. The mound itself, composed of weathered rock, is only partly affected by the works. The southern half of the mound will remain intact but the northern side is part excavated for the new roundabout.

The intention is to have the archaeological finds stored on site for public viewing.

During the next few months the team will investigate a total of 20 different locations of the bypass site.

erylcrump@dailypost.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

Hefin Lloyd Davies with one of the diamond slates found while working on the Porthmadog bypass The finds are catalogued for study

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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 27, 2010
Words:389
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