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Folkestone's Roman villa dig wins top award

By paulecc  |  Posted: March 10, 2013

Dig director Keith Parfitt with award

Dig director Keith Parfitt with award

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Work to uncover the secrets of Folkestone's Roman villa has won a top archaeological award.

The East Cliff site has been named Rescue Dig of the Year by Current Archaeology magazine.

Much of the work at the site, organised by Canterbury Archaeological Trust, has been carried out by volunteers.

 It was selected from a list of six archaeological sites across Britain which are at risk of being lost forever.

The site was first examined in 1924 but the threat of coastal erosion prompted the latest work.

The latest research was made possible by a £298,700 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £50,000 from the Roger de Haan Trust as well as support from Shepway district council.

The dig revealed that the villa area once contained a major Iron Age port receiving large quantities of high-status continental goods. Items found included 49 Iron Age coins and fragments of large jars used to transport wine.

The Director of the dig, Keith Parfitt, who accepted the award on behalf of the Trust, said: "The people of Folkestone will be so pleased to see this project recognised. Prior to our excavations, no one had seen the villa for 50 years so it was great that the local community could visit the site during our excavations.

Rescue archaeology is so important, and all of the projects nominated this year would have been worthy of winning – they all deserve recognition."

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  • nickspurrier  |  March 11 2013, 11:58AM

    Regarding this article, there are some unfortunate omissions regarding the partners in the project and the funders. The excavations at the Roman Villa were part of A Town Unearthed: Folkestone Before 1500, a three year project of community archaeology in Folkestone, organised by Canterbury Christ Church University, the Folkestone People's History Centre and Canterbury Archaeological Trust. It is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Roger De Haan Charitable Trust with contributions by Folkestone Town Council, Kent Archaeological Society and Shepway District Council.

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