Dig of delight as Katie finds bird

First year archaeology students from UCLan, pictured with their tutors, get first hand experience of a dig rediscovering Ribchester's Roman road.

First year archaeology students from UCLan, pictured with their tutors, get first hand experience of a dig rediscovering Ribchester's Roman road.

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Archaeology student Katie Ballam had the find of her life – when she took part in a dig during her first week at the University of Central Lancashire).

The 18 year old from Fleetwood, joined a team of first years working in Ribchester, revisiting the site of an earlier dig.

Student Katie Ballaam  with her "find" - a piece of Samian ware pottery discovered in an archaeological dig at Ribchester

Student Katie Ballaam with her "find" - a piece of Samian ware pottery discovered in an archaeological dig at Ribchester

Among the hoard of finds were many pieces of pottery, a small copper alloy brooch pin, a hard to decipher coin dating from the 4th century AD and the premier find - a piece of second century pottery featuring a bird, possibly an eagle attacking what looked like a hare and also decorated with the figure of a cherub and a tree.

A delighted Katie said she had not known what it was thinking at first her find looked like a bit of brick, closer examination revealed its detail and she said: “Then I was excited, really excited.”

Tutor Dr Jim Morris, who led the dig with colleague Dr Duncan Sayer, said: “Our university course is very practical. This was the first week of their degree - it gives them a good taste of archaeology.”

He said rather than be in the classroom just talking about a Roman road the attitude is: “Let’s find one - and we did”.

As for Katie’s find, Dr Morris noted: “This is Samian ware from the second century AD – this was in effect the Wedgwood of the Roman period. This might be from Gaul or France imported into Britain and turned up in Ribchester.”

Regarding the coin, which is thought to date from the Constantine era, he said: “You can just about make out the letters. There were some modern (pieces) and a fair amount of fragments of different types of Roman pottery as well.”

The university hopes to continue the relationship with Ribchester and discover more of its history from different periods, including medieval times, in years to come.