Roman settlement on Cleveland coast found

From The Northern Echo

Roman settlement unearthed in field

7:00am Wednesday 3rd September 2008

By Graeme Hetherington »

AN archaeologist has uncovered the foundations for a Roman settlement on the picturesque east Cleveland coast.

Steve Sherlock, whose painstaking work in a farmer’s fields near
Loftus uncovered evidence of Anglo-Saxon royalty last year, has
returned to the site – and been able to go even further back in time in
the latest dig.

Mr Sherlock, who has been helped by volunteers from Teesside
Archaeological Society, was thrilled and surprised by the look-out
station, discovered just inches below the surface.

And his painstaking work has resulted in him discovering a 1,600 year-old site for creating jet jewellery.

He said: “It’s another completely exciting find – even though I
didn’t expect to find it. I came here to find a Saxon settlement and
I’m discovering a very significant Roman site, too.

“To find a significant Roman site at Street House that is
contemporary with the Roman signal station at Huntcliff is fantastic.
Here at Street House we have found a Roman jet working site that would
have made jet jewellery.”

Aerial photographs first guided Mr Sherlock’s Iron Age research
project to the location in 2004, showing evidence of an Iron Age
enclosure, then last year, the site revealed 109 Anglo Saxon graves,
dating back to the seventh century.

A hoard of brooches, pendants and beads was also uncovered in
superb condition and a gold brooch – a bracteate – will go on show in a
special display at Redcar’s Kirkleatham Museum this week.

Coun Sheelagh Clarke, Redcar and Cleveland Council’s cabinet member
for culture, leisure and tourism: “This is another magnificent find
that shows what a rich and varied cultural heritage we have in east
Cleveland.”

An open day on Sunday, September 7, from 10.30am-4pm, including
guided tours at the site will clearly show visitors the entrance to the
building, a cobbled road leading to the entrance and the stone
foundations.

The event will also feature a craft session for people to paint a
clay replica of the brooch, then have it glazed while they tour the
site on a visit, expected to last 20-30 minutes.

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