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UCLan to lead new Ribchester Roman dig

20 April 2015

Lyndsey Boardman

University to work with Historic England and Ribchester Museum on project

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has announced exciting plans to conduct an intensive archaeological dig on the famous Roman settlement in Ribchester.

In conjunction with Historic England and Ribchester Museum, UCLan will begin the Ribchester Revisited project in July which will see archaeology students from first year through to Masters level explore the north gate of Ribchester Roman fort.

They will primarily focus on the areas considered to be ‘at risk’ by Historic England including the scheduled monument, the churchyard and the existing historic houses. It will primarily be a training excavation for UCLan students running from 6 July until 2 August with the aim of obtaining further funding to extend the project.

Ribchester is considered to have been an important route for the Romans between Manchester and Hadrian’s Wall. The students will work on two trenches 20 metres by 15 metres in diameter and will dig to collect artefacts, such as pottery and ancient coins, as well as logging all of the data.

“The archaeology degree courses at UCLan offer more fieldwork than any other university and this Ribchester dig is a great example of the real life hands-on projects they get involved with.”

The project was officially announced at a public meeting held in St Wilfred’s Church, in Ribchester. Dr Duncan Sayer, Senior Archaeology Lecturer at UCLan, commented: “Ribchester is a relatively unexplored area of historical interest and we want to make people aware of its significance. It’s a very exciting project for our students to get involved in and they will not only be looking for Roman relics but also for evidence of the early medieval settlers who followed the Romans so it’s an important dating exercise.

“The archaeology degree courses at UCLan offer more fieldwork than any other university and this Ribchester dig is a great example of the real life hands-on projects they get involved with.”

The partnership will potentially be in place for at least three years, depending on the nature of the discovery, and temporary exhibitions will be held in the Ribchester Museum following the excavation. It will be run by Dr Duncan Sayer and Dr James Morris from UCLan, Kathy Tucker from Historic England and Patrick Tostevin, who is the curator of Ribchester Museum.

The Ribchester Revisited project will be an open project and will welcome visitors to the Museum and the excavation during July. People can follow the dig on Facebook by visiting https://www.facebook.com/ribchesterrevisted