November 9th 2009.
The Weekend Wanderers met again at this new club farm in Somerton, Oxfordshire for just the second time. This is the story of how new member Pete Steanson located Roman pewter table ware that would ultimately lead to the discovery of a previously unknown of Roman villa!
Finder Peter Steanton
This was Peter Steanson's first ever Weekend Wanderers dig and as a new member he did exactly the right thing and stopped digging as soon as he realized that he had discovered something potentially significant.
Finds Liaison Officer for Oxfordshire Anni Byard was on site at the very start of the dig and was busily keeping up with recording those finds when we had a call that someone had dug up what may be a grave and asked for Anni to take a look.
FLO Anni quickly determined that this was unlikely to be a grave. She immediately made phone calls seeking the proper authorization allowing her to hold a full archaeological excavation there and then.
First though, the landowners had to be called over for their consent and the two brothers Ian and Andy looked on and seemed pleased yet amused at the unexpected find made on the land they had been working for so many years.
Their neighbour had a mini digger and he kindly offered to strip the surface layer of plough soil down to the archaeological strata beneath so a couple of passes were called for. The cleared ground revealed a horizontal layer of dressed stone that we thought looked like a road. Further inspection by Anni in the yellow hi-vis jacket pointed to a far different conclusion. This was the wall of a collapsed Roman building!
Not a bronze pot as closer inspection revealed the upturned base of an earthenware strainer.