Pupils learn the secrets of Deal's past

A group of local schoolchildren from Deal were this week given a fascinating glimpse into the Kent seaside town’s historic past.

Dandara organised for archaeologist Duncan Hawkins to visit Kingsdown & Ringwould C of E school, to share some of the discoveries found on the site of what will be the housebuilder’s Wingfield Place development.

The expert headed up an eight strong team from RPS Consulting Services Ltd (RPS) who were employed by Dandara to excavate the site. They found remains of a Roman settlement thought to have been a farm or small hamlet dating from the 1st to 4th centuries AD on the land at Freemen’s Way.

The fascinated Year 3 pupils were given a presentation about the dig and shown some of the artefacts found during the excavation, including pottery recovered from the site. The children were then invited to try searching for their own buried treasures using special kits donated by Dandara.  

Duncan who is Operations Director and Head of Archaeology & Heritage at RPS, commented: “It was lovely to share our findings with the children and let them get their hands dirty trying out some of the tools and techniques we use during a dig.  It was amazing how many questions the children had about our findings, I think we have a few future Indiana Jones in the making!”

The archaeologists who worked on the site were able to piece together that during the Roman period, the land was continually occupied, with boundaries in position for several hundred years, represented by ditches being recut. The indications are that the settlement extended to the north where many archaeological finds have been recorded over the last hundred years.

Louise Norman, Sales and Marketing Director at Dandara South East, commented: “It is incredible to think that people lived in this area of Deal almost 2,000 years ago and it has been so interesting to find a little bit more about their lives. It’s great to be able to play a small role in helping preserve the history of the town.”