An excavation in northern England has found clues to its past.
Someone who lived in northern England around 2,000 years ago had good taste.
Recently, Northern Archaeological Associates has been excavating a stretch of road—part of Britain’s longest highway, the A1—in advance of improvements, and they’ve turned up a series of artifacts hinting at a settlement that would have been one of the earliest and wealthiest Roman towns in Britain, as LiveScience writes.
Among the finds were a silver ring shaped like a snake and a fragment of an amber figurine depicting a “toga-clad actor,” Historic England says. These are the possessions of a wealthy person, and along with the other discoveries—shoes, cups, keys, coins, shoes, a pen and ink pot—they indicate that this area was likely a more important center than was previously realized.
One of the items discovered was a plumb bob, which would have been used in road construction to keep a project on course. “It is fascinating to discover that nearly 2,000 years ago the Romans were using the A1 route as a major road of strategic importance,” a representative of Highways England said in a release.
By Sarah Laskow