Roman Metal-Working Site from Flintshire

From the Daily Post:

A BUILDER has been praised by archaeologists for helping save historic Roman finds in Flintshire.

Anwyl Construction recently halted work on their major Croes Atti housing development at Oakenholt, near Flint, after uncovering evidence of a Roman era industrial site.

The area was cordoned off for three weeks while archaeologists from Earthworks Archaeology, backed by Rhyl-based Anwyl Construction as well as by the Welsh historic buildings organisation Cadw and the Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust, carried out a survey.

They found a Roman road and buildings where lead mined on nearby Halkyn Mountain was smelted before being shipped, probably by barge down the river Dee to Chester.

Will Davies, Cadw officer for Clwyd and Powys, said: “This resolved what could have been a really bad situation because there was no obligation on Anwyl’s part to allow this archaeological work to take place and they were even willing to step in with funding. In the past similar finds have simply disappeared because we’ve had less willing developers to deal with. This site could easily have been flattened.”

The work carried out on the site has unearthed evidence of a thriving metalworking industry on the banks of the River Dee which probably lasted for over 200 years.

Among the finds were exquisite fragments of high quality Samianware pottery, probably made in what is now southern France, a silver denarius from the reign of the Emperor Domitian, 81-96AD, a hob-nailed boot found in an old well and remains of amphorae, pottery vessels which held wine.

Will Walker, of Earthworks Archaeology, said: “We’ve made a detailed record, including scaled drawings, photographs etc., and the results will be used to produce a report on the findings.

“Anwyls have been excellent and we have worked very well together. It would have been most unfair on them for the work to have been stopped for any longer.

“We’re thrilled with the find and with the way everyone has worked so well together.”

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