'Iron Age' site near Ellesmere to be excavated

An Iron Age settlement could have been found in a farmer's field in Shropshire, according to archaeologists.

A team from Shropshire Council and Manchester Metropolitan University plan to start excavating the site, near Ellesmere, next week.

They hope to discover evidence of buildings built 2,500 years ago, before the Roman conquest.

The site was identified because of the unusual patterns in the crops.

Man-made structures

Archaeologists from the council said they are likely to indicate something buried beneath the ground.

The authority's senior archaeological project officer, Hugh Hannaford, said it is most likely to have been a small Iron Age farmstead.

He hopes to find artefacts from the period, as well as evidence of man-made structures.

Although there are a number of suspected Iron Age sites in the county, Mr Hannaford said archaeologists rarely get the chance to excavate them, unless the land was due to be developed.

The dig has been supported by the Shropshire Wildlife Trust, which has recruited a team of a dozen local volunteers to assist with the two week dig.

The group from the university plans to take soil samples, which will be examined to see what plants were growing at the time.

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