Look what turned up in a field!
“The major Roman fort complex was spotted on parched grassland near Brecon, Powys, and the marching camp near Caerwent in Monmouthshire.
Aerial archaeologist Toby Driver said he could not believe his eyes when he spotted the fort from the air.
Scores of Iron Age farms and forts were also found in Pembrokeshire and the Vale of Glamorgan.
The crop of summer discoveries follow similarly exciting Bronze Age ones made during last winter’s snow.
Dr Driver, from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW), said 2013’s spell of hot weather has left him reflecting on some of the most significant finds since 2006.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when the pilot and I approached the location and saw fading crop marks of a major Roman fort complex, lost beneath fields and a road for nearly 2,000 years.”
He targeted reconnaissance flights in a light aircraft to where the drought conditions were most severe across the length and breadth of Wales.
When crop marks show in drought conditions Dr Driver said the Royal Commission’s aerial survey only has a few weeks to record the sites before rain or harvest removes them.
The Roman fort complex discovery near Brecon was a “rare discovery for Wales” and was made following a tip from Dr Jeffrey Davies, who he has been working with on another project – the Abermagwr Roman villa excavations near Aberystwyth.
“Jeffrey Davies noticed an anomaly in Roman coin finds near Brecon, reported under the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS),” explained the aerial archaeologist.
“He had a hunch that the coins, of the Emperor Claudius, could indicate a lost early Roman fort, and passed a grid reference to me the day before a flight into central Wales.
Iron Age settlement
“I couldn’t believe my eyes when the pilot and I approached the location and saw fading crop marks of a major Roman fort complex, lost beneath fields and a road for nearly 2,000 years.”
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