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  • Writer's picturechrisfwinter

Digging for wells

Amateur archaeologist, Andrew Buchanan, intrigued members of the Wells Civic Society with his fascinating talk and tour of the dig at Westbury sub Mendip.

This visit was a follow-up to the talk Andrew gave to the Society, and despite the drizzle, was greatly enjoyed. The Romano - British ‘villa’ which is being investigated has given up a number of artifacts and offers some insight into the life of, what is thought to be, a fairly wealthy farmer / merchant around the third century.

Following the discovery of a lead ‘pig’ and a small hoard of silver denarii buried nearly 2000 years ago, early investigation between 2017 and ’19 found evidence of metalworking and other human activity. Use of geophysics pinpointed the site of a sizable structure, and excavation revealed a building with stone walls and a tiled roof. A fragmented millstone, pieces of cooking pots and animal bone, coins, oyster shells, hobnails and even shards from glass vessels and much more has been found at the excavation site.

The group was asked to imagine what the area might have looked like so long ago; the artifacts show evidence of pottery from outside of the area, and other evidence indicates that local produce might have been traded further afield.

There are plans to display significant finds at the Wells & Mendip Museum as part of a future exhibition, together with the story behind the site.


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