Time travellers start digging around
TV archaeologists today began work on extricating what could be one of the most important Roman discoveries ever made in Suffolk.A television crew from Channel Four's Time Team has been invited to scour an area of west Ipswich by youngsters at a local school in a bid to unearth a Roman villa.
TV archaeologists today began work on extricating what could be one of the most important Roman discoveries ever made in Suffolk.
A television crew from Channel Four's Time Team has been invited to scour an area of west Ipswich by youngsters at a local school in a bid to unearth a Roman villa.
Karen Kirk, a researcher for the show, said a similar excavation had taken place in the 1950s but had never been completed.
"The work carried out in the 1950s was good for the time it was done but we are hoping to complete the job, she said.
"We're very excited about the site because, if it's as big as we think it is, it will be one of the biggest in the area and the biggest in Suffolk."
The site of the excavation is currently being kept a closely guarded secret by the film crew to ensure the area remains secure and that filming goes as smoothly as possible.
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The programme, which is now in its eleventh series, is initially focusing on the back garden of one home in the area. This could eventually spread to several other gardens in the area, depending on what is discovered.
The area to be investigated was pinpointed by detailed research into the area, which was carried through co-operation with local historians before the crew arrived on site.
It is hoped that any discoveries made will be preserved in museums in the Ipswich area, although this depends on the nature of them.
Volunteers from the area have come forward to help with the excavation, which is the latest in a series of sites to be investigated by the show.
Hosted by Tony Robinson, the programme visited 13 sites of historical importance in its last series and has gained cult following among archaeological enthusiasts.
Around 35 crewmembers are working on the production and will spend three days filming the programme, which will be shown between January and March 2004.