Base dig unearths 2,000-year-old find

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ARCHAEOLOGISTS working on a military base have unearthed what they believe could be a 2,000-year-old Roman shrine.

The shrine was discovered during a dig at RAF Lakenheath, with senior Suffolk County Council archaeologists calling the find ‘extremely unusual’.

Jo Caruth, senior project manager, said: “We’ve worked on the base for quite a few years now, but in that time we’ve not seen anything quite like this.”

Ms Caruth said the find, the site of which measures around 15m square, contained a series of small circular Roman buildings dating from the second century AD to the fourth century AD.

The importance of the find was as part of a growing body of discoveries in the Lakenheath area, according to Ms Caruth.

“It adds a very important piece to the overall picture of Roman Lakenheath. At the moment we have got a lot of evidence of domestic life, occupations and animal husbandry.

“If it turns out to be what we think it is, it will add another element to our understanding of Roman life in this area,” she said.

An Aucissa brooch dating from the first century AD was found at the site, as well gritstone that appears to have been transported from Derbyshire for construction of the building.

The Aucissa brooch is named as such as the name is often found inscribed on the head of the brooch and is assumed to be a maker’s name. The Aucissa workshop made brooches in Gaul from 40-60 AD.

The dig is now closed, leaving the team to carry out analysis on their find, including carbon dating on the uncovered artefacts.

Suffolk County Council was called in to explore the site after plans to build a gym there were submitted.

Ms Caruth said the find was a surprise, as they had worked very close to the site in the past.