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An entire Roman settlement full of ancient artefacts and human remains has been found in West London.
Archeologists discovered the treasures following excavations at the Grade I-listed Syon Park, pictured above. The dig took place ahead of the construction for the new luxury hotel, London Syon Park, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel, set to open in early 2011.
More than 11,000 Roman items have been found, buried just half a metre below the ground surface, where they’ve lain undiscovered for almost 2,000 years.
Star finds include:
- a section of one of Roman Britain’s most important roads, linking Londinium with the Roman town of Silchester
- a rural settlement
- an ancient tributary of the Thames
- Roman human skeletons and some very unusual burials
- two shale armlets
- fragments of a lava quernstone
- an exceptional Late Bronze Age (1000-700 BC) gold bracelet from an earlier age
Jo Lyon, a senior archaeologist at the Museum of London Archaeology, says, “We were extremely fortunate to discover such a comprehensive repertoire of Roman finds and features so close to the surface. They tell us a great deal about how the people of this village lived, worked and died.
“The archaeology at Syon Park has given us a valuable, rare insight into the daily life of an agricultural village on the outskirts of Londinium (London) that would have supplied the Roman city and provided shelter for travellers passing through.
“It helps us build a picture of the Roman landscape and shows how the busy metropolis of Londinium connected with the rest of Roman Britain.”
Some of the artefacts are going to be displayed at the new hotel. Dale MacPhee, general manager at the new London Syon Park, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel says,
“The Roman findings add to the wonderful uniqueness of our destination and the hotel, which through its design and guest experience, will pay homage to the heritage of the Syon Park estate. We hope to curate a showcase of the key Roman relics within the hotel lobby for guests to reflect on when we open next year.”