Cemetery dig unveils Sandy’s Roman past

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A body in a cemetery might seem a strange thing to get excited about - but it’s causing a stir in the archaeological world.

The skeleton, uncovered during an ongoing dig at the site of Sandy’s cemetery extension, is believed to be that of a Roman woman.

Archaeologists excavating the site have also uncovered evidence of a Roman town wall. The find, which archaeologists have called significant, is a first in Bedfordshire.

AOC Archaeology, who are excavating the site, has said that the wall is the first evidence uncovered of a defended Roman town in Bedfordshire.

The wall itself is made of local iron stone and is held together with cement, a Roman invention. Unfortunately, the stonework was most likely robbed after the Romans left.

The excavation, which is a planning condition of Sandy Town Council’s cemetery extension project, began in April 2018 and has unearthed numerous finds dating back as far as the 4th Century.

The site is being excavated in two halves, with the first half now complete. It was in the first phase of excavation that the wall was found.

The human skeleton was also found in the first phase. AOC Archaeology describe the find as particularly exciting.

The excavation is continuing, with an open day for the public to come and see the site set be held next month.

The 2018 dig in Sandy has uncovered about 200 items dating from the Iron Age in 500 BC to the Saxon period in 800 AD.

The Town Council offices house a small collection of finds and pictures about Roman Sandy, which were mostly collected following archaeological digs in the town’s cemetery between 1988 and 1991.