A ROMAN lead foundry unearthed by builders has been attracting international attention.
The discovery at the Croes Atti site at Oakenholt, near Flint, halted work on a housing development to allow a three-week exploration.
Archaeologists have found evidence of a thriving production site on the banks of the River Dee and leading German news magazine Der Spiegel’s online service is featuring a picture taken at the site and the story.
The discovery was made two weeks ago when workers from Anwyl Construction found a Roman road and traces of buildings when they began work.
Since then a team from Earthworks Archaeology has been working alongside contractors on the Roman remains.
Will Walker, of Earthworks Archaeology, said: “Despite the wintry weather conditions, the dig has gone extremely well and there have been many interesting and intriguing finds.
“We’ve found the remains of Roman buildings together with many industrial features, including hearths and other processing areas, associated with the Roman exploitation of local lead ores found on Halkyn Mountain.
“As the Roman remains are excavated a detailed record is made, including scaled drawings, photographs etc. and all the finds recovered including pottery fragments, lead, coins, glass, are labelled and bagged ready for cleaning and specialist analysis.
“The dig finishes on Saturday and the results will be used to produce a report on the findings.”
Anwyl Construction’s technical director Andy Davies said: “It has gone very well and we have worked very well with the archaeologists and been able to support them.
“We have found Roman remains in the past and we knew there was a possibility of finding something here so we were very aware of what we were doing.”
Mr Walker added: “We’re thrilled with the find and with the way everyone has worked so well together, Anwyl, the groundworkers, ourselves, Flintshire Council, Cadw and Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust.”
Meanwhile, Delyn AM Sandy Mewies has called on Welsh Heritage Minister Huw Lewis AM to ensure the remains are properly investigated.
“I appreciate the developers have stopped work to allow an exploration of the site to take place,” she said.
“But I have been contacted by constituents who are anxious to receive assurances that enough time is given for a full exploration.
“I feel it is extremely important to fully examine the site as the find could be of great historical significance for the area.
“I have asked the Minister to ensure officials scrutinise the process carefully and have also sought the comments of the heritage body CADW and Flintshire Council.”