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Spalding dig uncovers evidence of Romans transporting salt from road site




Archaeologists have uncovered evidence of Romans transporting salt from the outskirts of Spalding.

A team of archaelogists have been running an excavation in Pinchbeck as part of the preparation work for the Spalding Western Relief Road.

Lincolnshire County Council and South Holland District Council are working on the plans to create the 6.5km road to link the A1175 and A16 to the south and east of Spalding, to the B1356 to the north, via the B1172 Spalding Common.

Archaeologists at work on the site off Spalding Road as part of the Spalding Western Relief Road (42440438)
Archaeologists at work on the site off Spalding Road as part of the Spalding Western Relief Road (42440438)

Two substantial ditches and holding tanks have been uncovered during the 16-week excavation.

Project manager Mick McDaid said that this site has been a surprise.

He said: “Nothing was expected from the site prior to evaluation. There was an aerial photograph which showed a crop mark but there was no indication of the quality of the archaeology.

Archaeologists at work on the site off Spalding Road as part of the Spalding Western Relief Road (42440440)
Archaeologists at work on the site off Spalding Road as part of the Spalding Western Relief Road (42440440)

“This has really added to the knowledge of the area. Before this it was believed that the area did not have much activity up until recent times.”

During the Roman period, Spalding and the surrounding area would have been creeks which would provide the ideal location for creating salt.

Romans would use a hearth to evaporate tidal water intobrine to create salt.

Mr McDaid said: “There are no signs that this was any sort of settlement but was purely for industrial use.

“We have what appears to be holding tanks for the brine.”

Mr McDaid also said that substantial ditches were also found on the site.

He said: “There is a good case for them being used to transport salt away from the site.”

Archaeologists have also found some fine Roman pottery at the site along with evidence of a medieval settlement.

Mr McDaid said: “We have the enclosure ditches of the settlement. We got pits with charcoal remains in them and there is possibly medieval salt making around there.”

The artefacts will be sent to Lincoln University to be catalogued and a report will be compiled.



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