Well over 100 people took the opportunity to get an insight into a small Iron Age settlement uncovered at Ridgeway Farm on Saturday 21 June.
Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey who are developing 700 homes at the site on the edge of West Swindon, in Wiltshire, invited interested people to visit the site to meet the team which has carried out the work and find out more about what had been uncovered.
Pictured top by Richard Wintle of Calyx, above, Andy Manning of Wessex Archaeology pointing out the features of a roundhouse to South Swindon MP Robert Buckland and Mary Beck of Taylor Wimpey
Right, Sue Nelson of Wessex Archaeology showing off a piece of pottery found at Ridgeway Farm
Below, Emily Tweedle, 9, holding a piece of Roman pottery
Bottom, Sue Nelson with a Roman broach discovered on the site site
Features discovered during the dig suggest that the area was once a small Iron Age settlement, perhaps occupied by a single family grouping from about 700 to 100BC, which continued on into the Roman period around 43AD.
Staff from Wessex Archaeology, who were commissioned to carry out the investigation, uncovered the post holes for several roundhouses, storage pits, pottery which would have been used for storing food, loom weights for weaving, quern stones for grinding corn and various personal items.
The original dig started on land allocated for the second phase of homes at Ridgeway Farm, and had been extended by 0.5 hectares to the north and north west to reveal more evidence of occupation.
Andrew Manning, Senior Project Manager from Wessex Archaeology, said: “"From evidence of previous finds and geophysical surveys at Ridgeway Farm to the east of the original farmhouse access track, the land had been ploughed from medieval times, but the field to the west hadn’t been touched and had been used as pasture.
"We discovered a number of features which are of local significance including five roundhouses, two or three of which would have been occupied at any given time. Whilst of local interest, our discoveries are not going to change our understanding of the archaeology of the region."
Mary Beck, Taylor Wimpey project manager for Ridgeway Farm, said: "We were very pleased by the response to our invitation to find out more about the archaeology. There were around 50 people ready to take the tour at 10am, including a family who setting off for a wedding afterwards.
"We realise the development of the site has been a sensitive subject in nearby communities but there was no hostility; the visitors were keen to find out more about the history of Ridgeway Farm and know more about the original residents."
Wessex Archaeology have completed investigations and will continue examination of samples in the laboratory and will be writing a detailed report which they hope to publish at the end of 2015.
Find out about homes for sale at the two Taylor Wimpey sites at Ridgeway Farm