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This is Local London

Roman villa excavated in rail link dig
March 7th, 2002

Ebbsfleet: The social and industrial lives of the Romans who settled around the Ebbsfleet River have been the subject of close scrutiny for years.

Now, archaeologists excavating the site of a Roman villa in Northfleet hope to be able to complete the work started by renowned Kent digger W.H.Steadman in 1910.

Oxford Archaeology has spent four months uncovering thousands of pieces of flint, iron, pottery and bone.

A team of more than 50 archaeologists, excavators and Palaeolithic specialists have until the end of March to put together a 3-D record of the site.

This will include computer-aided design models, digital photographs and written logs.

The excavation was commissioned by Rail Link Engineering to explore the site near the Blue Circle cement works, as part of the company's aim to preserve local heritage before work starts on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

Oxford Archaeology's project manager Richard Brown said: "We have discovered there were people here from the 1st to the mid-4th Century, when there was an Anglo-Saxon occupation.

"The villa was basically an agricultural estate. But it also had a bath house and would have been centrally-heated. Livestock would have lived here among the domestic dwellings.

"We think it may also have been an important trade route with boats coming up the Thames.

 

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