Sleaford Roman skeletons

Experts analyse Roman skeletons and finds that build a picture of town’s history

A PICTURE of life in Roman Sleaford is being built up as archaeological finds are shipped out to the nation’s experts.
The Hoplands site in Sleaford hit the headlines as complete human skeletons were discovered during a dig.

Now the bones, as well as other finds including jewellery, coins and pots, are being analysed by experts around the country.
Even without the final results, it is possible to build up an idea of what the settlement was like.

Network Archaeology Ltd, based in Lincoln led the dig.
Senior project officer Gavin Glover said: “It is safe to say that it was a thriving settlement and not a small rural place.
“The appeal of it was probably the good transport links. It doesn’t seem to have had great strategic significance but it would have been a very good trading point.
“There is evidence that it was a settlement before Roman times as there are Iron Age artefacts as well.
“It would have been a very important area, especially in the early Roman period.”
The exciting finds were unearthed during a dig to clear the way for a North Kesteven District Council  housing development.
Councillor Stewart Ogden said: “What struck me most about the archaeological dig at the Hoplands was that there was so much that came from such a small plot.
“There were skeletons, wells, a road, different styles and forms of buildings, evidence of latrines and domestic pots and artefacts all in a very compact spot.
“I firmly believe that, with its rich history, Sleaford should develop some sort of timeline on which to promote its past.
“That would be a real attraction on which to build our tourism appeal.
“In time we would hope to see all or most of the artefacts return to Sleaford for display in the town.
“There is a shortage of suitable venues at present but that doesn’t mean they have to be left in some dark store in Lincoln.”
Children at a Sleaford school also got to enjoy the finds.
Pupils at Kirkby la Thorpe Primary School got their hands on a slice of history when pots and other artefacts from the site were brought into the classroom.
Euan Palfrey, 11, said: “It was amazing to hold something that is two to three thousand years old, and to think that someone else held it so long ago.
“I liked looking at all the detail on the pottery.”


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