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Archaeology student finds Roman artefact

09 October 2013

Lyndsey Boardman

First year Katie strikes lucky on first ever dig

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) archaeology student has unearthed more than she bargained for during her first ever dig.

Katie Ballaam, 18, found a piece of Samian pottery that dates back to Roman times at an excavation in Ribchester during her first week of University. The first year student thought she had merely unearthed a piece of brick at first but then noticed it had a pattern stamped into it.

“It was really exciting as I didn’t expect to find anything significant during my first ever dig. It’s a great start to my archaeology degree.”

Katie said: “It was really exciting as I didn’t expect to find anything significant during my first ever dig. It’s a great start to my archaeology degree.”

The Samian pottery dates from the second century AD and would’ve been used by people of a relatively high status. It was decorated with a bird attacking its prey and also with a figure of a cherub and a tree.

UCLan archaeology lecturer Jim Morris commented: “It’s a great piece of dating evidence as the students are digging to find the centre road of a Roman Forte. We like to immerse our students into the practical side of archaeology straight away to give them a real taste of what it’s like.”

The students also found other pieces of pottery, a coin dating back to the fourth century AD and a copper alloy brooch pin.

The UCLan archaeology students will return to the excavation site at Ribchester next year.