Six Roman pots unearthed by University of Leicester student at Roman town site

A University of Leicester student has found six complete Roman pots during a community dig at the Chester House Estate, near Irchester, Northamptonshire. 

Third-year archaeology student, Davidson Copeland, discovered the pots in June 2023. The dig was his first ever excavation project.

The pots were found at the bottom of a deep pit during excavations in the suburbs of the small Roman town of Irchester. The placement of the items suggests that they were carefully placed there. 

An expert, Dr Adam Sutton (Aurelius Archaeology) has analysed the six pots and identified them as beakers, a small flagon, two jars and a 2nd Century AD samian ware bowl which has been traced back to central France, according to BBC News.

Some of the pots had holes which suggest that they might have had a practical use such as money boxes or religious offerings.

The pots will be on display at Chester House Roman Festival this weekend (Saturday 23 June and Sunday 24 June). More information about the festival can be found here

The Chester House Estate contains the remains of one of Britain’s best-preserved Roman small towns. Excavations are revealing houses, workshops and cemeteries, allowing archaeologists to better understand the lives of the town’s inhabitants.

The excavation of the site is a collaboration between University of Leicester and North Northamptonshire Council, which owns Chester House Estate. The Irchester Field School provides opportunities for people of all ages to get involved with archaeological investigations and is enhancing understanding of the archaeologically rich landscape of this stretch of the Nene Valley.

University of Leicester archaeology students have been working alongside volunteers at the site. This year’s excavations have begun and will carry on until 12 July 2024. 

Professor Sarah Scott is one of the lead archaeologists at the site. She said: “It is fantastic that our students have the opportunity to gain experience at this nationally significant site, working alongside Chester House Estate volunteers.

This fascinating discovery generated huge interest and excitement amongst students, volunteers and visitors. The pots provide a tangible link to the past and but have also sparked new friendships and a sense of community in the present.”