'Time Team' to unearth area's past


Sarah Staples

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have descended on the outskirts of Ellesmere to excavate land thought to bear the remains of an Iron Age farm.
A team from Shropshire Council started work with Shropshire Wildlife Trust last week after they were given the opportunity to investigate the site in Newton by the Meres and Mosses Partnership Scheme.
They hope to unearth a farmstead from around 2,500 years ago after studying aerial photographs of the land and discovering unusual patterns on the ground.
A team from Manchester University will also be taking peat samples and analysing pollen dating from up to 10,000 years ago
Hugh Hannaford, senior archaeological project officer at Shropshire Council, said experts have known about the site for 20 years but it has never been excavated.
“We are hoping to find remains in a ditch of a farmstead and we are hoping to get artefacts from inside the ditch that could help us see what type of farming was being done at this time,” he said.
“We are absolutely excited to have this opportunity and it will hopefully be good fun for the volunteers who have come from the local area,” he added.
There are around 450 similar sites in Shropshire but very few have been excavated.
The team will be working on the site for two weeks.
l Schools and community groups are invited to a demonstration day at the site tomorrow, Wednesday. For more information contact Luke Neal, community officer at Shropshire Wildlife Trust, on 01743 284275.

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