Melford using radar to find Roman homes
The hunt for Roman remains in Long Melford has moved into the 21st Century as local archaeologists look for buildings and roads using ground penetrating radar technology.
Long Melford Heritage Centre along with other local archaeological groups recently conducted a comprehensive archaeological survey of the village using state of the art ground penetrating radar.
John Nunn, Babergh district councillor for Long Melford, said: “We traced the remains of several Roman walls on the Liston Lane site and also what appeared to be two separate buildings on the meadow.
“We located the course of the Roman road known to be under Roman Way Green, which we hope will give a better idea of the direction in which it goes, and thereby enabling us to trace it further on through the village at a later date.”
The equipment, specially made in Sweden by the company Mala, is designed to locate objects under the ground to a depth of two-three metres.
As it is specialist equipment, Mr Nunn, along with volunteers Kenneth Dodd and Roger Kistruck from the Long Melford Heritage Centre and the Historical and Archaeological Society took part in training course in Bolton, Lancashire, to gain a certificate in the use of the equipment.
The aim of the project during the week of June 5, was to survey and locate possible Roman roads and buildings, and gain a better understanding of how Long Melford developed nearly 2,000 years ago.
The group used the radar at sites including Liston Lane and Long Melford Primary School.
“Despite extremes in weather conditions, volunteers had considerable success operating on a number of sites around Long Melford,” said Mr Nunn.
“However there remains a considerable amount of work to undertake since many potential locations are still to be explored.
“The machine proved to be amazing in detecting ancient buildings and their floor plans together with roads.
“In addition the opportunity was taken to explore the relationship between known earth works and the settlement in general. Enabling us to start building a comprehensive picture in the way Long Melford developed from its Iron Age origins through to a Roman military presence on-wards.”