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Recent Archaelogical Discoveries


Merlin Works, Leicester

Excavations on Bath Lane revealed exciting new evidence of coins being made in Leicester in the crossover period between the Iron Age and Roman conquest. In a building that may have been a workshop, a number of fragments of ceramic ‘flan trays’ were found. These would have had molten gold and silver poured into them to make pellets which would then be stamped into coins.

Also on this site, the first ever Upper Palaeolithic type blades to be found in Leicester were discovered.

Highcross Street, Leicester

Highcross Street was one of the major streets in Medieval Leicester. Excavations here uncovered a number of narrow Medieval buildings along the street front. They contained different structures which show the buildings were used for different activities, including brewing.

Within this archaeology, a triangular piece of chain maille was found. This may be Medieval and was probably a decorative piece attached to a larger garment worn by a high status person.

This area of Leicester has been populated for many centuries and in the lower layers an amazing discovery was made. It was the collapsed wall of a large Roman building, probably the macellum, or Roman shopping centre. Most of this building lies beneath the modern casino and Travelodge.

The wall was at least 8m high and would have looked very like the Jewry Wall. It shows evidence of an arch and a possible window. Because the wall had collapsed, it had covered an earlier Roman wall which was in its original position, showing archaeologists the exact location of the edge of the street block.

Vine Street, Leicester

In the east wing of a Roman house uncovered at the Vine Street site, a number of coin hoards were found. They were put there in about the year 341 AD and it looks like they were disturbed in the past, perhaps when someone was digging to retrieve more valuable hoarded goods.

A flat piece of lead with Latin cursive writing on it was also found. It is a Roman curse, asking a god to avenge the theft of a cloak.

The Lost Church of St Peter and its Cemetery, Leicester

Under the new John Lewis store the ‘lost’ church of St Peter and its Medieval graveyard were discovered. Most of the plan of the church was identified as was evidence to show that the churches bell was made in a pit within the bell tower in the late 12th century. 1341 skeletons were excavated from the cemetery, allowing new information to be gathered about the demographics of Leicester’s Medieval population.


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