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Balsham Village Feast – an exhibition on 2 July

By 28/06/2022March 16th, 2023News, Outreach

On Saturday 2 July we’ll have a stall at the Balsham Village Feast in Cambridgeshire, with a display of finds from the two excavations we’ve undertaken in the village.

During the course of the excavations we identified activity dating from the Mesolithic to the Post-Medieval period. On the High Street we found evidence for the prehistoric and Saxon development of the village, while our excavation on Linton Road unearthed the Balsham’s first ever Roman remains.

The principal result of our excavation on Linton Road was the identification of a previously unknown rural Roman road running parallel to Worsted Street and an associated, long-lived roadside settlement. The trackway was laid out in the mid-1st century AD and continued in use up to at least the 4th century. The site was rich in metalwork, with high-status imported wares uncommon in rural sites in the region, indicating access to wider trade networks. Almost three hundred small finds were recorded during the excavations. In addition to these individual finds, a Late Roman coin hoard was unearthed in a small pit.

Together, the sites illustrate how the village has seen occupation from at least as early as the Bronze age until the present day. We have a prime spot in the Village Hall which will be weather-proof but hopefully the sun will shine – come and see what we found!

The coin hoard in situ with a detail of one of the coins. Most of the coins within the pit were found arranged in loose stacks, indicating deposition in a series of textile rouleaux that have since decayed in the soil. All but three post-date AD 330; the earlier coins, however, are of a similar size and are likely to have circulated at the same time as their later counterparts. Most of the coins in the hoard are ‘Fallen Horseman’ nummi of the House of Constantine, issued in the late AD 340s and 350s; these include a combination of official ‘regular’ nummi and a much higher proportion of unofficial ‘irregular’ nummi. The hoard was probably buried in the period AD 355-364.

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