Thousands of objects dating back almost 2,000 years have been found along the route of the Grantham Southern Relief Road project.
Working on a site just south of Grantham town, archaeologists uncovered artefacts including pottery, animal bones, human remains, roof tiles, an iron sickle, a copper spoon handle, brooches, almost 400 Roman coins and remarkably well-preserved stone walls.
Experts believe activity at the site dates back as far as 100 AD.
Catherine Edwards, Project Manager for AOC Archaeology, said:
Although the finds are yet to be looked at by specialists, we believe the oldest activity dates back to the Romano-British period, somewhere between 100 and 410 AD. The first step of our investigation was to carefully strip the site's topsoil. Once the material was moved off-site, we were able to move in and start our investigations.
She added: "First, we used a range of heavy tools, like shovels, spades, picks and barrows, to expose features and artefacts. We then used lighter hand tools, like trowels and hand brushes, to excavate and clean what we'd uncovered."
According to senior archaeological consultant, Phil Weston, the three most significant finds include well-preserved Roman buildings, human graves and industrial features such as a well-preserved pottery kiln.
Although some of the stone was used in the construction of later buildings, the side that faced into the hillside had survived several courses high. The remarkable preservation of this building and several others will help the archaeologists in reconstructing the buildings and the lives of those that used them.
The Grantham Southern Relief Road project is being led by Lincolnshire County Council. The £102 million project consists of building a 3.5km relief road, aimed at reducing congestion, disruption, and delays in Grantham.
Cllr Richard Davies, who's the executive member for highways at Lincolnshire County Council said:
These investigations where Grantham's new relief road will be built will greatly contribute to our understanding of the Roman settlement at Saltersford, just south of where Grantham is now – particularly what sort of activities were taking place here hundreds and thousands of years ago and how our Grantham fits into the country's historical picture.
He added: "The project is progressing really well, and we're looking forward to having the entire relief road opened during 2023."