When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Student strikes gold in Ribchester
7:00pm Monday 7th October 2013 in News
AN archaeology student struck gold on her first dig in the old Roman settlement at Ribchester.
Katie Balham, 18, from Fleetwood, was only a week into her archaeology course at the University of Central Lancashire when she found a treasure trove including a copper alloy brooch pin, a 4th Century coin, and several pieces of pottery.
One important piece of pottery, thought to date back to the second century, featured a bird, possibly an eagle, attacking what looked like a hare and decorated with a cherub and a tree.
Tutor Dr Jim Morris, who led the dig with colleague Dr Duncan Sayer, said: “We took students out into the field to do practical excavations.
“We find it’s a very good way of getting the students instantly interested in being an achaeologist.
“We took them out to Ribchester - it’s the start of a collaborative project between the university and Ribchester Roman Museum.
“We were out there carrying out excavations with our students, excavating the Roman fort, and we discovered the central road to the fort.
“It was really nice for the first year students to experience that.”
Dr Morris said that Katie’s discovery was significant.
He said: “It helps us understand more about the layout of Ribchester Roman fort.
“It’s had numerous people dig holes in it but no research projects have taken place for the last twenty years or so.”
Katie said she was delighted by her find, and that it has renewed her enthusiasm for her chosen career.
She said: “It was really good. It was only my second day at the dig. I was with a few other people who’d also been finding other things, but I wasn’t expecting that.
“I already knew I wanted to do it but it was my first experience of actually being an archaeologist and that made me look forward to it even more.
“We get to go back to Ribchester again. I can’t wait to go back!”
The treasures Katie found will be retained by the university before being given to Ribchester Roman Museum.
Dr Morris said: “At the moment they’re at the university and as part of their training the students will be examining the pottery and we’ll probably end up with a student project doing research on the stuff we’ve found.
“It will eventually go back to Ribchester Roman Museum. ”
Comments are closed on this article.