Experts discover Roman tower

Guernsey News from ITV Channel Television - romandig_.gif

Archaeologists have discovered what they think was a Roman tower in Alderney.

Guernsey Museum's Jason Monaghan recently directed a five-day dig at the Nunnery, near Longis Bay, and believes he is closer to proving the Romans formed a military presence in the island.

Dr Monaghan, who organised the dig with the Alderney Society, said: "We've proved there was a very large building here, about 18 square metres. It does suggest a tower. The walls were 2.8m thick, which is huge. However, the dating evidence is elusive. It could have been a control tower of a Roman fort, or it could have been a tower in the later middle ages. It could even be one and the same."

Dr Monaghan said it was difficult to date the tower as he couldn't dig any further.

"It might be that we cannot answer all our questions by simply digging holes. We need to go away and look at what we've done and see whether we're going to dig again," he said.

As well as the tower, Dr Monaghan and volunteers found Roman tile and four pieces of Roman pottery.

Dr Monaghan believes the Nunnery did host the Romans.

"If they weren’t here, they were near. I think they were here. I'm just not sure which bit of this is theirs. We've not found the occupational area and the bits we have found could have come from outside."

Dr Monaghan said he was excited about the tower discovery and not frustrated about being unable to prove his theory.

"That's archaeology – it's exciting. Sometimes you find it, sometimes you don't. We've had the success of finding the building, which is what we aimed to do."

Alderney digs up the past


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