Ancient Roman mine with 'some of world’s richest mineral deposits in the world' discovered in England

A mysterious Ancient Roman road and mine were discovered by archaeologists in England.

The researchers were digging in Cornwall when they made the discoveries near a Roman fort that was found in Calstock in 2007. The team's lead archaeologist, Dr. Chris Smart, from the University of Exeter, said it was a pleasure to find the road and the possible mine, which he said were both an "unexpected bonus."

"Whilst we still do not know their age, it is possible that they are from the medieval period," he added in a release announcing the discoveries.

(Credit: University of Exeter)

(Credit: University of Exeter)

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Perhaps even more exciting is the level of minerals that the mine may have contained. This particular area of South East Cornwall and West Devon "was famed for having some of the richest mineral deposits in the world," according to the statement.

There were no objects found in the possible mine, which has made it difficult for researchers to date when it was used.

Remains of a medieval timber longhouse were also found, which suggests the site was occupied after the early part of the 13th century.

One of the deep pits does cut into the Roman road, which makes it possible that it was used after the Roman military occupation of the area. The Roman Fort has evidence that it was likely constructed around 50 A.D. and remained in use for approximately 30 years.

Almost all of England, Wales and parts of Scotland were governed by the Roman Empire from 43 to 410 AD.

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"At some point in the life of the fort a second defensive circuit was added to enclose and protect buildings outside of the fort, and this may point to a period of heightened threat," the statement added.

There are two more excavations planned in 2020 and 2021, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which the team hopes will provide more details about the mine as well as the road.

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