History dig plan for Devizes Green

TOWN councillors have welcomed a plan by Wiltshire Heritage Museum to investigate the archaeology of Devizes by undertaking a survey to see what wonders lie beneath The Green.

David Dawson, director of the museum, has approached the council about a community archaeology project in the town to coincide with the Festival of British Archaeology in July.

In his letter to the council, Mr Dawson said: “The Green in Devizes is the site of the discovery in 1714 of a set of Roman figurines which are now on display in the British Museum.

“The figurines are Roman gods including Jupiter, Neptune, Bacchus, Venus and Mars.

“They almost certainly come from a household shrine of a large Roman villa. Other Roman finds have been made in the immediate area, including buildings and a cemetery in the area around Southbroom School.

“A few years ago, members of the Archaeology Field Group carried out a small-scale geophysical survey on The Green. The equipment used was not very sensitive but appeared to show evidence of some archaeological features as well as traces of what could be more recent features, including World War Two defences.”

As well as carrying out a new geophysical survey, the museum is planning to work with local schools and to ask local people to bring in pottery they may have found in their back gardens.

Part of the Green, where a new cycle path is planned, will be excavated.

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