10,000 Artifacts Unearthed by Highway Dig in the UK

Over 10,000 Artifacts Unearthed by Highway Dig in the United Kingdom.  Among the artifacts are coins, jewelry, pottery fragments and an intriguing “Cupid” figurine from the Roman period. So far, the excavations have uncovered more than 10,600 artifacts collectively weighing around 220 pounds, which shed light on how the lives of inhabitants in the area have changed over thousands of years. The excavations have yielded discoveries from a period spanning 12,000 years of history.



The project, first launched in 2019, broke ground in February 2023 to connect the A417 highway bypass to the Cowley roundabout, a section of road that is currently a single-lane carriageway that slows traffic, transportation officials said.


Before long, the archaeology team working with government agencies started to find artifacts dating as far back as the Mesolithic period, which began in the area around 12,000 years ago, officials said. The pieces date from the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman periods.


“Excavating an area of (3,821,188 square feet), the team of more than 60 archaeologists and 50 office-based specialists have spent more than 100,000 working hours carefully excavating and curating over 10,600 artifacts, weighing in at (220 pounds), that will be carefully preserved for future generations,” according to the release.
Pottery, coins and jewelry, along with other artifacts, have been found from the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman Period and World War II, officials said.

“Before work began in earnest, trial trenching uncovered a Roman Cupid figurine and brooch, along with a Roman or early Saxon skeleton,” officials said.


A photo of the figurine was shared by Oxford Archaeology, a private partner working on the project.