Evidence of Prehistoric settlement found by archaeologists in residential Roman Essex

By Culture24 Reporter | 16 December 2013

A pair of pots found in Roman Essex have caused archaeologists to revise the timeline of residential Rainham

A photo of a circular brownfield and clay archaeological dig site revealing a vessel
Roman Rainham has revealed prehistoric pots© Courtesy Pre Construct Archaeology
Two 1st century pots, believed to have been “deliberately damaged” as part of an ancient ritual, have been found alongside three burning kilns, farming equipment and Roman materials on an £80 million housing development in Essex.

Excavators say the broken bases of the pots, found at Orchard Village in Rainham, point to a ceremony almost 2,000 years ago. A number of tower blocks are set to be demolished on the site, with the objects passed to the London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre.

“The regeneration of Orchard Village has been all about looking forward to a bright and positive future for our residents,” said Dawn McKenzie, the Project Manager for a space where Roman remains were found during the original Mardyke Estate development of the late 1960s.

“These discoveries are a reminder of the area’s rich history, which should not be forgotten.”

Helen Hawkins, of Pre-Construct Archaeology, said experts were “very pleased” with their prehistoric and Roman finds.

“They have greatly enhanced our understanding of the use of this area during these periods,” she added.

“The pots in particular are significant as they appear to show that the site was occupied even earlier than we previously thought.”

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